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I was just thinking about Etta this past weekend, when I visited the Rock Hall in Cleveland. Etta started out singing do wop in the 50's, but she evolved, embracing gospel, rock, jazz, blues, and soul.  Johhny Otis (mentioned here), who passed only a few short days ago, had a tremendous influence on her career.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins in 1938 in LA, it's possible that Etta - who never knew her biological father - actually may have been the daughter of Minnesota Fats.  When she came into her own during her days as part of the Chess Records stable, some say she single-handedly bridged the gap between traditional blues and modern popular music.  Perhaps her biggest hit was "I Just Wanna Make Love to You".

Here is James singing "Midnight Hour" with BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

Etta James was 73.  She was inducted in the Rock Hall in 1993.  She will always be remembered.

All composite things are impermanent,
They are subject to birth and death;
Put an end to birth and death,
And there is a blissful tranquillity. - Gatha of Impermanence

9:58 AM PT: My sincere thanks to Bill W, who reminded me of this diary written by Etta's guitarist of 22 years and fellow Kosack, Little Bozo.  A tremendous find.

Originally posted to T-n-T on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 09:30 AM PST.

Also republished by An Ear for Music, Protest Music, and DKOMA.

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