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Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)

Roger the Skiffler 20 Jan 12 - 12:17 PM
KathWestra 20 Jan 12 - 12:20 PM
wysiwyg 20 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM
gnu 20 Jan 12 - 12:59 PM
fat B****rd 20 Jan 12 - 02:58 PM
Joe Offer 20 Jan 12 - 03:50 PM
katlaughing 20 Jan 12 - 05:48 PM
michaelr 20 Jan 12 - 05:53 PM
catspaw49 20 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM
Crowhugger 21 Jan 12 - 01:46 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Jan 12 - 04:51 AM
Peter the Squeezer 21 Jan 12 - 10:46 AM
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Subject: Obit: RIP Etta James
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 12:17 PM

BBC radio news has just announced death of Etta James at (I think) 79. My record collection consists more and more of dead musicians as the years roll on.
I expect obits out tomorrow.

RtS


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James
From: KathWestra
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 12:20 PM

Sad news. Here's the report from the NY Times .


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 12:26 PM

wISH WE COULD KEEP 'EM

DAMN CASPLOCK

...forever!

Oh! We can! :~)

RIP but not too Pful.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James
From: gnu
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 12:59 PM

Another great one gone. RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James
From: fat B****rd
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 02:58 PM

There's nothing to say but that the lady was great.
RIP MIss James.


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 03:50 PM

Here's the text of the New York Times Obituary

    Etta James, Powerful Voice Behind 'At Last,' Dies at 73

    By PETER KEEPNEWS
    January 20, 2012

    Etta James, whose powerful, versatile and emotionally direct voice could enliven the raunchiest blues as well as the subtlest love songs, most indelibly in her signature hit, “At Last,” died Friday morning in Riverside, Calif. She was 73.

    Her manager, Lupe De Leon, said that the cause was complications of leukemia. Ms. James, who died at Riverside Community Hospital, had been undergoing treatment for some time for a number of conditions, including leukemia and dementia. She also lived in Riverside.

    Ms. James was not easy to pigeonhole. She is most often referred to as a rhythm and blues singer, and that is how she made her name in the 1950s with records like “Good Rockin’ Daddy.” She is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame.

    She was also comfortable, and convincing, singing pop standards, as she did in 1961 with “At Last,” which was written in 1941 and originally recorded by Glenn Miller’s orchestra. And among her four Grammy Awards (including a lifetime-achievement honor in 2003) was one for best jazz vocal performance, which she won in 1995 for the album “Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday.”

    Regardless of how she was categorized, she was admired. Expressing a common sentiment, Jon Pareles of The New York Times wrote in 1990 that she had “one of the great voices in American popular music, with a huge range, a multiplicity of tones and vast reserves of volume.”

    For all her accomplishments, Ms. James had an up-and-down career, partly because of changing audience tastes but largely because of drug problems. She developed a heroin habit in the 1960s; after she overcame it in the 1970s, she began using cocaine. She candidly described her struggles with addiction and her many trips to rehab in her autobiography, “Rage to Survive,” written with David Ritz (1995).

    Etta James was born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles on Jan. 25, 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, was 14 at the time; her father was long gone, and Ms. James never knew for sure who he was, although she recalled her mother telling her that he was the celebrated pool player Rudolf Wanderone, better known as Minnesota Fats. She was reared by foster parents and moved to San Francisco with her mother when she was 12.

    She began singing at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles at 5 and turned to secular music as a teenager, forming a vocal group with two friends. She was 15 when she made her first record, “Roll With Me Henry,” which set her own lyrics to the tune of Hank Ballard and the Midnighters’ recent hit “Work With Me Annie.” When some disc jockeys complained that the title was too suggestive, the name was changed to “The Wallflower,” although the record itself was not.

    “The Wallflower” rose to No. 2 on the rhythm-and-blues charts in 1954. As was often the case in those days with records by black performers, a toned-down version was soon recorded by a white singer and found a wider audience: Georgia Gibbs’s version, with the title and lyric changed to “Dance With Me, Henry,” was a No. 1 pop hit in 1955. (Its success was not entirely bad news for Ms. James. She shared the songwriting royalties with Mr. Ballard and the bandleader and talent scout Johnny Otis, who had arranged for her recording session. (Mr. Otis died on Tuesday.)

    In 1960 Ms. James was signed by Chess Records, the Chicago label that was home to Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and other leading lights of black music. She quickly had a string of hits, including “All I Could Do Was Cry,” “Trust in Me” and “At Last,” which established her as Chess’s first major female star.

    She remained with Chess well into the 1970s, reappearing on the charts after a long absence in 1967 with the funky and high-spirited “Tell Mama.” In the late ’70s and early ’80s she was an opening act for the Rolling Stones.

    After decades of touring, recording for various labels and drifting in and out of the public eye, Ms. James found herself in the news in 2009 after Beyoncé Knowles recorded a version of “At Last” closely modeled on hers. (Ms. Knowles played Ms. James in the 2008 movie “Cadillac Records,” a fictionalized account of the rise and fall of Chess.) Ms. Knowles also performed “At Last” at an inaugural ball for President Obama in Washington.

    When the movie was released, Ms. James had kind words for Ms. Knowles’s portrayal. But in February 2009, referring specifically to the Washington performance, she told an audience, “I can’t stand Beyoncé,” and threatened to “whip” the younger singer for singing “At Last.” She later said she had been joking, but she did add that she wished she had been invited to sing the song herself for the new president.

    Ms. James’s survivors include her husband of 42 years, Artis Mills; two sons, Donto and Sametto James; and four grandchildren.

    Though her life had its share of troubles to the end — her husband and sons were locked in a long-running battle over control of her estate, which was resolved in her husband’s favor only weeks before her death — Ms. James said she wanted her music to transcend unhappiness rather than reflect it.

    “A lot of people think the blues is depressing,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 1992, “but that’s not the blues I’m singing. When I’m singing blues, I’m singing life. People that can’t stand to listen to the blues, they’ve got to be phonies.”


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 05:48 PM

We heard about it on NPR. What a sad loss. And, earlier this week Johnny Otis died at 90. I think he deserves an obit thread of his own, so will start one, if it hasn't already been done.

RIP,

kat


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 05:53 PM

It's been done, kat. Etta sang in Johnny's band for some time.


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: catspaw49
Date: 20 Jan 12 - 08:21 PM

One of a tiny and elite group of singers who brought something extra to the Blues............

"When I'm singing blues, I'm singing life"

Maybe that's it..............RIP


Spaw


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: Crowhugger
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 01:46 AM

A very great loss.


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 04:51 AM

A great singer. Someone for today's beauty queen clones and so-called jazz singers to listen to in awe.


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Subject: RE: Obit: RIP Etta James (1938-2012)
From: Peter the Squeezer
Date: 21 Jan 12 - 10:46 AM

RIP Etta

We sang "At Last" at the singaround at Black Swan, Shepshed, Leics (UK), last night.


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