Friday, 20 January 2012

R.I.P. Jamesetta Hawkins (Etta James): A woman with a lot of blues to bear.


 'I wanted to be rare, I wanted to be noticed, I wanted to be exotic as a Cotton Club chorus girl, and I wanted to be obvious as the most flamboyant hooker on the street. I just wanted to be.'

via (Last.fm)



The grand dame of soul has finally left us. Etta sung about loss and love and jealousy with a violence and depth that few singers could match. Which is why I suppose Etta and myself never could quite get down with Beyonce's version of her in the ham fisted biopic Cadillac Records. It goes without saying that you can't fake authenticity people. I would love to see her story immortalised on film the right way (not as a vehicle for another singer) because her relationship with her mother and herself provided a lot of the grief she was so wonderful at imparting, that and the multitude of problems her beginnings led her to. 


Here is a lovely account of Adele meeting her idol and what she has meant to her:


Adele on a singer who makes you believe in her every word.


Must buy of this month definitely goes to James's autobiography Rage to Survive. She never got the recognition she deserved and it would be great to see how she represented herself through this medium.  In later years she was denied these opportunities, in 2009 Beyonce (again!) was chosen to sing her signature song and be part of the great honour that was the inauguration of America's first black President: something I feel she deserved to witness first hand after the experience of race in America she had endured.


R.I.P. Miss Peaches. Coquettish and tough all at once. You were my kind of lady.



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