July 28, 1986 |
"The Barrelhouse used to be right down there on the northeast corner of Wilmington," Johnny Otis said Saturday afternoon, referring to the nightclub--a block east of the Watts Towers--that he ran in the late '40s. The veteran bandleader was back on his old stomping grounds to stage the "R&B Reunion," which closed the first half of the two-day, 10th annual Watts Towers Music and Arts Festival.
October 5, 2012 |
In a concert last month at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe, the buzzy English singer Paloma Faith crouched down near the floor to sing "Let Me Down Easy. " It's a tough-love song associated with a number of hardy soul-music veterans, including Bettye LaVette and the late Etta James, and Faith was doing what she could (despite her youth and a seriously movement-constricting dress) to channel some of their gravitas. LaVette does some crouching of her own on "Thankful N' Thoughtful," a powerful new covers album that finds the 66-year-old R&B singer tapping into the desperation of tunes like Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere" and "Everything Is Broken" by Bob Dylan.
August 29, 2010 |
For some, the best part of the 2010 Primetime Emmys today is the post-show party scene, where Cyndi Lauper, 57, will likely be the evening's biggest draw as the headliner for the "Entertainment Tonight" bash. The New York-based singer, who's married to actor David Thornton and mother of Declyn, 12, is currently on the West Coast leg of a tour for her new album, "Memphis Blues," which will take her to "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" on Monday night. Congratulations on how well "Memphis Blues" is doing.
May 19, 1989 |
With her first major label album in years behind her and another in the works, her soulful 1960s rhythm-and-blues hits for Chess records seeing new light on re-releases and a streak of recent film soundtrack credits and on-screen singing roles, Etta James is enjoying a career upswing at age 51. "I'm doin' real well, but I don't look at it like I'm out of hard times," James said over the phone this week from her home in Los Angeles. "With me, I'm always going to pay dues. I don't say, 'I've paid my dues.
December 16, 2011 |
News came today that singer Etta James is terminally ill with chronic leukemia; the Riverside Press-Enterprise also reports that the 73-year-old is suffering from kidney failure and dementia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, where blood cells are produced. When abnormal cells are created they disrupt the function of healthy cells. The disease can be acute or chronic; in acute leukemia, common in children, immature or early blood cells multiply quickly, and immediate treatment is usually necessary.
September 17, 1993 |
Etta James' "Roll With Me Henry" was one of the most celebrated of the many R&B "answer" singles of the '50s, and it's the centerpiece of a Flair Records compilation spotlighting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member's earliest recordings. Titled "R&B Dynamite," the 22-song package is one of two James retrospectives in the stores. The more recent arrival is MCA Records' two-disc "The Essential Etta James," which focuses on the singer's acclaimed Chess Records work in the '60s and '70s.
September 7, 1990 |
The Church of Etta James was in session Wednesday night, and the congregation shouted, sang along and shook a tail feather or two. Clearly, her fans worship her. James, who has belted out sassy blues vocals since the early 1950s, held forth at Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay with her nine-piece Roots Band. She may be older, but she hasn't lost any of her brassy stage presence. Informed that the fire marshal didn't want anyone dancing in front of the stage, she challenged him to step forward.
May 23, 1989 |
It was Blue Sunday at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa for the Pacific Jazz Festival's second day, as blues performers Robert Cray and Etta James each lifted the small crowd to its feet. Happily, the sonic problems of the first day were largely resolved, though there was volume to spare when it was needed. James accompanied her hot-and-nasty vocals with suggestive moves around the piano and wild-eyed, dramatic pauses. Backed by an eight-piece band that tracked her every step and provided punctuation for the singer's strong ways, James roamed the stage with abandon--taunting, crying and raising her voice in anger.
January 2, 1995 |
It may seem inappropriate to claim that EttaJames, the raunchy R&B vocalist famous for bumps, grinds and tough-mama come-ons, is aging gracefully. But compare her recently released "Live From San Francisco" CD, recorded in 1981, to her performance Friday at the Coach House and you'll find that she is singing more purely, in more attractive tones than she did 14 years ago, and is even more adept at her delivery, risque and not.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 2011 |
Etta James, the legendary rhythm and blues singer suffering from end-stage leukemia and dementia, is under sedation while being treated at a Riverside hospital, her son said Saturday. The 73-year-old performer, known for hits such as "At Last" and "Tell Mama," will remain hospitalized for at least several days before possibly returning to her Riverside home, Donto James said. If doctors can wean her from her sedation by Sunday, her family will try to hold a small Christmas celebration in her hospital room, he said.