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'A Sunday Kind of Love' to You

Remembering the late great singer Etta James and the gift of her stylized voice.

I saw Etta James perform in concert four or five times—once in a lineup with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Cocker and B.B. King at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa. I was reminded of her rock-to-soul range when I read Los Angeles Times pop music writer Randall Roberts' appreciation piece. But I'd forgotten about this song until my friend Dean shared it on Facebook. His simple comment was wistful and true:

"Etta James provided one of the musical voices of my childhood.... I can listen to this and close my eyes, and it's Friday night and I'm slow dancing in the gym after a football game. She was remarkable and we were blessed she sang to us."

Luis January 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
She was quite a singer and a remarkable woman.
Panglonymous January 22, 2012 at 07:20 PM
"Many historians consider "Work With Me Annie" and the string of replies [including James' & Otis' "The Wallflower"] to be the big bang of rock 'n' roll - and a bold invitation for a young African American female singer in 1955. James' explosive voice, coupled with her innocent presence belting out such relatively bawdy lyrics, made for a disconnect that James and Otis took full advantage of." [more] -Randall Roberts | http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2012/01/an-appreciation-etta-james.html (repaired link) Here's a playlist of the other songs mentioned in Roberts' piece linked above: Midnighters (formerly Known as The Royals)- Work With Me Annie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUEO328U-8E Etta James - Wallflower (Roll with me Henry) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmJkt10FMDM B.B. King - Sweet Sixteen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1vJos6rI_s Etta James - All I Could do was Cry http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_i-AI61PEo Etta James - At Last http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZXvLsltu2A Etta James - I Just Wanna Make Love To You http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUgvVAFFzN8 Nice stuff...
Nancy Wride (Editor) January 22, 2012 at 08:21 PM
I envy great singers, because they share something uniquely their own with others, and no matter what their flaws, that music is what it is. And I love Randall Roberts' writing. Thank you for the links, Pan.
Panglonymous January 23, 2012 at 12:11 AM
If you could either write like Shakespeare, or sing like Caruso, which would you choose?
Nancy Wride (Editor) January 23, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Since I seem to want what I don't have in talent, it could go either way :D but I would opt for the singing talent, definitely. You?
Panglonymous January 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Oh, yeah, Caruso for sure. It took me about a second to weigh the two when asked years ago (by a published novelist who would also choose to sing! ;-) Would anyone here choose Shakespeare?
tony January 23, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I already write like Byron and sing like Louis 'Pops' Armstrong. Apples & oranges! If you'd care to talk big bang, Without 'Satchmo'.........forms of music not in their present state= rock, jazz, R&B, big band, stage musicals, and Steven Tyler! the imitator not the inovator!
Panglonymous January 23, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Link us brother! :-) In the meantime, he agitates space and time quite nicely here: "Dinah" 1933 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhVdLd43bDI "Tiger Rag" 1932 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TGSYmYVYdg
Diana January 23, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Eta James was an incredible Woman and I have loved her voice for years and also seen her in concert several times. Her life stuggles never held her fight down and she lived her life the way she choose to do it and blessed us all with that incredible voice of hers. RIP Etta, you will be missed but your voice will live forever.
Nancy Wride (Editor) January 23, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Did anyone see her at Bogart's? Wasn't Bogart's at the Tantalum end of Marina Pacifica?
Paige Austin January 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Bogart's was over there. I heard Nirvana played Bogart's...

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