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» Etta James

Etta James
Born: January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, Ca
Died: January 20, 2012 in Riverside, Ca
Active: '50s-2010s Major
Styles: Soul-Blues, Early R&B, Soul
Instrument: Vocals Representative
Albums: "Etta James Rocks the House", "The Essential Etta James", "The Chess Box" Representative
Songs: "At Last", "I'd Rather Go Blind", "Tell Mama"

UPC Type Title
755174073021 CD 12 Songs of Christmas
5036408147820 (i) CD 4 Classic Albums Plus
5060143490934 (i) CD Anthology
008811201722 CD At Last
5024952266647 (i) CD At Last
8436542012003 (i) Vinyl At Last
8436542011228 (i) CD At Last! + the Second Time Around
600753308431 (i) CD At Last: The Best of Etta James
886978466129 (i) CD At Last-the Best of
731454436724 (i) CD Best of Etta James
600753065822 (i) CD Best of-Green Series
886974973027 CD Blue Gardenia
025218964722 CD Blues in the Night 1
828766064421 (i) CD Blues to the Bone
801213901692 DVD Burning Down the House
4988005792686 (i) CD Call My Name
008811228828 CD Chess Box
076732936320 CD Come a Little Closer
075021036710 CD Definitive Collection
602527831893 CD Dreamer
762111694010 CD Enduring Soul
886977177323 CD Essential Etta James (2CD)
076732934128 CD Essential
805520091336 (i) CD Essential Collection
029667238823 (i) CD Etta Is Betta Than Evvah!
715187873025 CD Etta James: Vol. 1-Greatest Gospel Hits
715187873124 CD Etta James: Vol. 2-Greatest Gospel Hits
886919058925 (i) CD Etta James: Complete Blues Rock 'N' Soul Private M..
029667016124 (i) CD Etta James: Complete Modern & Kent Recordings
015668501424 CD Etta-Red Hot N Live
602517166783 CD Gold
602527681351 CD Heart & Soul-a Retrospective
076732936726 (i) CD Her Best
029667168021 (i) CD Hickory Dickory Dock
016244405624 CD How Strong Is a Woman-Island
636551008624 CD I Just Want to Make Love to You
602527496658 CD Icon
030206697629 CD Inspirational Collection
025218965521 CD Late Show (No. 2 Blues in the
019341164623 (i) CD Let's Roll
8718627220764 (i) CD Let's Roll
886974894520 CD Life Love & the Blues
8712177054954 (i) CD Live & in the Studio
894231262227 CD Live & Ready
826992027920 CD Live at Montreux 1978-93
801213925391 DVD Live at Montreux 1978-93
801213343096 Blu-Ray Live at Montreux 1978-93
801213925490 Blu-Ray Live at Montreux
886974949923 CD Live From San Francisco
824046514822 CD Live in New York
828767581521 CD Love Songs
008811249823 CD Love Songs
886972237725 CD Love Songs
886974973423 CD Love's Been Rough on Me
805772613829 (i) CD Love's Been Rough on Me/Life Love & the Blues
008811195328 CD Millennium Collection-20th Century Masters
886974909125 CD Mystery Lady-Songs of Billie Holiday
888837435727 CD Original Album Classics
886919012521 (i) CD Original Album Classics
602517791428 CD Playlist Your Way
886974703129 CD Playlist: The Very Best of Etta James
029667237727 (i) CD Queen of Soul
5050457121624 (i) CD R&B Dynamite
024266113021 CD Respect Yourself
076732918425 CD Rocks the House
4988005792679 (i) CD Rocks the House
887254184522 CD S.O.U.L.
042284265522 CD Seven Year Itch
042284292627 (i) CD Stickin' to My Guns
894231464829 CD Stormy Monday & Other Favorites
4988005792693 (i) CD Tell Mama
008811251826 CD Tell Mama-Complete Muscle Shoa
886974927228 CD Time After Time
805772612129 (i) CD Time After Time/Mystery Lady
604988301328 (i) CD Tough Woman: Early Recordings 1955-60
5060143494413 (i) CD Very Best of
602498270417 (i) CD Very Best of Etta James
029667234528 (i) CD Who's Blue? Rare Chess Recordings of the 60s & 70s
886972209821 CD X2 (Time After Time/Blue Gardenia)

Biography: Few female R&B stars enjoyed the kind of consistent acclaim Etta James received throughout a career that spanned six decades; the celebrated producer Jerry Wexler once called her "the greatest of all modern blues singers," and she recorded a number of enduring hits, including "At Last," "Tell Mama," "I'd Rather Go Blind," and "All I Could Do Was Cry." At the same time, despite possessing one of the most powerful voices in music, James only belatedly gained the attention of the mainstream audience, appearing rarely on the pop charts despite scoring 30 R&B hits, and she lived a rough-and-tumble life that could have inspired a dozen soap operas, battling drug addiction and bad relationships while outrunning a variety of health and legal problems.

Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California on January 25, 1938; her mother was just 14 years old at the time, and she never knew her father, though she would later say she had reason to believe he was the well-known pool hustler Minnesota Fats. James was raised by friends and relatives instead of her mother through most of her childhood, and it was while she was living with her grandparents that she began regularly attending a Baptist church. James' voice made her a natural for the choir, and despite her young age she became a soloist with the group, and appeared with them on local radio broadcasts. At the age of 12, after the death of her foster mother, James found herself living with her mother in San Francisco, and with little adult supervision, she began to slide into juvenile delinquency. But James' love of music was also growing stronger, and with a pair of friends she formed a singing group called the Creolettes. The girls attracted the attention of famed bandleader Johnny Otis, and when he heard their song "Roll with Me Henry" -- a racy answer song to Hank Ballard's infamous "Work with Me Annie" -- he arranged for them to sign with Modern Records, and the Creolettes cut the tune under the name the Peaches (the new handle coming from Etta's longtime nickname). "Roll with Me Henry," renamed "The Wallflower," became a hit in 1955, though Georgia Gibbs would score a bigger success with her cover version, much to Etta's dismay. After charting with a second R&B hit, "Good Rockin' Daddy," the Peaches broke up and James stepped out on her own.

James' solo career was a slow starter, and she spent several years cutting low-selling singles for Modern and touring small clubs until 1960, when Leonard Chess signed her to a new record deal. James would record for Chess Records and its subsidiary labels Argo and Checker into the late '70s and, working with producers Ralph Bass and Harvey Fuqua, she embraced a style that fused the passion of R&B with the polish of jazz, and scored a number of hits for the label, including "All I Could Do Was Cry," "My Dearest Darling," and "Trust in Me." While James was enjoying a career resurgence, her personal life was not faring as well; she began experimenting with drugs as a teenager, and by the time she was 21 she was a heroin addict, and as the '60s wore on she found it increasingly difficult to balance her habit with her career, especially as she clashed with her producers at Chess, fought to be paid her royalties, and dealt with a number of abusive romantic relationships. James' career went into a slump in the mid-'60s, but in 1967 she began recording with producer Rick Hall at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama and, adopting a tougher, grittier style, she bounced back onto the R&B charts with the tunes "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind."

In the early '70s, James had fallen off the charts again, her addiction was raging, and she turned to petty crime to support her habit. She entered rehab on a court order in 1973, the same year she recorded a rock-oriented album, Only a Fool, with producer Gabriel Mekler. Through most of the '70s, a sober James got by touring small clubs and playing occasional blues festivals, and she recorded for Chess with limited success, despite the high quality of her work. In 1978, longtime fans the Rolling Stones paid homage to James by inviting her to open some shows for them on tour, and she signed with Warner Bros., cutting the album Deep in the Night with producer Jerry Wexler. While the album didn't sell well, it received enthusiastic reviews and reminded serious blues and R&B fans that James was still a force to be reckoned with. By her own account, James fell back into drug addiction after becoming involved with a man with a habit, and she went back to playing club dates when and where she could until she kicked again thanks to a stay at the Betty Ford Center in 1988. That same year, James signed with Island Records and cut a powerful comeback album, Seven Year Itch, produced by Barry Beckett of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. The album sold respectably and James was determined to keep her career on track, playing frequent live shows and recording regularly, issuing Stickin' to My Guns in 1990 and The Right Time in 1992.

In 1994, a year after she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, James signed to the Private Music label, and recorded Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday, a tribute to the great vocalist she had long cited as a key influence; the album earned Etta her first Grammy Award. The relationship with Private Music proved simpatico, and between 1995 and 2003 James cut eight albums for the label, while also maintaining a busy touring schedule. In 2003, James published an autobiography, Rage to Survive: The Etta James Story, and in 2008 she was played onscreen by modern R&B diva Beyonc

Knowles in Cadillac Records, a film loosely based on the history of Chess Records. Knowles recorded a faithful cover of "At Last" for the film's soundtrack, and later performed the song at Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural ball; several days later, James made headlines when during a concert she said "I can't stand Beyonc , she had no business up there singing my song that I've been singing forever." (Later the same week, James told The New York Times that the statement was meant to be a joke -- "I didn't really mean anything...even as a little child, I've always had that comedian kind of attitude" -- but she was saddened that she hadn't been invited to perform the song.)

In 2010, James was hospitalized with MRSA-related infections, and it was revealed that she had received treatment for dependence on painkillers and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which her son claimed was the likely cause of her outbursts regarding Knowles. James released The Dreamer, for Verve Forecast in 2011. She claimed it was her final album of new material. Etta James was diagnosed with terminal leukemia later that year, and died on January 20, 2012 in Riverside, California at the age of 73. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi