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Etta James & Chicago

"Last Friday, the renowned blues and R&B singer Etta James died at a hospital in Riverside, California, outside L.A.," Davis Inman writes for American Songwriter. "James had battled health problems and years of drug abuse, but died from complications of leukemia.

"Though James had an early hit in her career with a song called 'Dance With Me, Henry' (also known as 'Roll With Me, Henry') and success with a girl group called The Peaches in the '50s, the singer really hit her stride when she signed with Chicago's Chess Records in 1960."

Indeed. Here she is portrayed by Beyoncé Knowles in the 2008 chronicle of Chess, Cadillac Records.

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But we can also bring you the real thing. Here are the few Etta James performances on video to be found; the first three from her appearance with Dr. John and Allen Toussaint on on WTTW's Soundstage in 1982 and the other captured from rehearsal for the Blues Fest in 1988.

1. Groove Me.

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2. Amazing Grace.

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3. Something's Got A Hold On Me.

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4. Tell Mama et al.

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Finally, here's my favorite Koko Taylor recording - which is an Etta James song.

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See also:
* Whet Moser: RIP Etta James, Genius of Chicago Crossover Soul

* Time: A Voice of Gold, A Life of Pain

* New York Times: A Versatile and Direct Voice

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on January 24, 2012


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