Blues News

Etta James – Soulful Chanteuse

Etta James – Blues Highlights

Etta James – I’m a huge fan of Etta James’s music and have been for a very long time. And like a fine wine, her music just keeps getting better with age and speaks to people. Although, she’s no longer with us, her music is still very relevant to this day.

Furthermore, she’s been around since the doo-wop days of the mid 50’s to the soulful 60’s heyday. And quite surprisingly still kept going strong through the years considering all the trial and tribulations she has been through.

She had endured some rather emotional times in her life including some nasty drug addictions but always managed to prevail through it all (which proves that she was no shrinking violet).

Etta James – The Blues Cure All 

Her music spoke to people, if you were having a bad day, you could throw on her music and find yourself smacking your hand on the table and yelling “Yes, that’s what I’m talking about!” Sing it Etta! Ok, maybe not so loud and dramatic but to me, she had an amazing way of injecting her emotions into any song and truly making it her own. Whether she was with a band or just by herself, she always made a presence on stage and always commanded everyone’s attention.

Etta James & Her Accolades

James possesses the vocal range of a contralto. But, her musical style changes during the course of her career.  At the beginning her recording career, in the mid-1950s, James is marketed as an R&B and doo-wop singer. After signing with Chess Records in 1960, James broke through as a traditional pop-styled singer, covering jazz and pop music standards on her debut album, At Last! James’s voice deepened and coarsened, moving her musical style in her later years into the genres of soul and jazz

James’s powerful, deep, earthy voice bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll. She won six Grammy Awards and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001. Rolling Stone magazine ranked James number 22 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time; she also ranks number 62 on its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”

At Last

I already  know that most of you, if not singing this song at the top of your lungs, you’re imagining Etta James’ sultry vocals belting out this soul-blues classic. In my opinion, Etta Kills this song!

Check back next week to see what’s new on KTBA!  

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Photo: Video Screenshot

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