Music Diary – 25th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 25th January!

Etta James (25th January 1938 – 20th January 2012)

Etta James (25th January 1938 – 20th January 2012)

Happy birthday to Jamesetta Hawkins aka Etta James, who was born on the 25th January 1938 in Los Angeles, Callifornia (USA)!

At the age of five years, Jamesetta received her first vocal training from James Earle Hines, musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir, at the St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Turned 14, she founded the girl group called „The Creolettes“ and shortly after that, the talented and young singer met musician Johnny Otis, who took her under his wings. Otis changed the band name into „The Peaches“ and Jamesetta into the stage name Etta James. In early 1955 the single „Dance with Me, Henry“ was released, which reached number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Tracks chart. Due to this success, The Peaches got an opening spot on Little Richard’s national tour.

After leaving the band, Etta was signed by the legendary label Chess Records. With male singer Harvey Fuqua she recorded the singles“If I Can’t Have You“ and „Spoonful„. With „All I Could Do Was Cry“ (1960), Etta had her first solo hit. In the same year her album debut „At Last!“ was released, which offered a varied choice of Jazz standards, Blues tunes, Doo-Wop elements and Rhythm & Blues. Especially James‘ interpretations of the title song, „I Just Want to Make Love to You“ and „A Sunday Kind of Love“ became classics. In 1961 her second LP „The Second Time Around“ featuring the two hits „Fool That I Am“ and „Don’t Cry Baby“. Etta James expanded her style with more Gospel elements – this can be heard on the two recordings „Something’s Got a Hold on Me“ and „Stop the Wedding“. In 1967, the LP „Tell Mama“ hit the stores. The title track and also the tracks „Security“ and „I’d Rather Go Blind“ became further hits.


In the seventies, Etta James continued recording and more albums were released, although she had no big hits anymore. In 1978 she was the opening act for The Rolling Stones and also performed at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. Then she left Chess Records, stopped working and began struggeling with drug addiction and alcoholism. In 1989 Etta signed with Island Records and her albums „Seven Year Itch“ and „Stickin‘ to My Guns“ were released. Three years later, the LP „The Right Time“ (on Elektra Records) followed and in 1992 Etta James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


With her tribute album to Billie Holiday called „Mystery Lady: Songs of Billie Holiday“ (1993), Etta James won her first Grammy Award in the category „Best Jazz Vocal Performance“ and ten years later, she was honoured with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. And she picked her next Grammy  (in the category „Best Contemporary Blues Album„) for „Let’s Roll“ in 2005.

Etta became seriously sick and suffered from dementia and leukemia. In November 2011 her last album „The Dreamer“ was released. On the 20th January 2012, Etta James died at the Riverside Communiy Hospital in Riverside (California) – just five days before her 74th birthday and only three days after the passing of Johnny Otis, who discovered her in the fifties.

Get your Etta James stuff here (for Austrian customer):

Good Things Gmunden

                                 Shop for ETTA JAMES here (wordwide):

Etta James Shop (GERMANY)           Etta James Shop (UK)           Etta James Shop (USA)
GERMANY                                      UK                                            USA

 

Music Diary – 10th January

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 10th January!

Chester Arthur Burnett aka Howlin' Wolf (10th June 1910 – 10th January 1976)

Chester Arthur Burnett aka Howlin‘ Wolf (10th June 1910 – 10th January 1976)

On the 10th January 1976, one of the most outstanding musicians of the Blues genre passed away: Mr. Chester Arthur Burnett, better known as Howlin‘ Wolf, died at the age of 66. Born on the 10th June 1910 in White Station Mississippi (USA), he lived together with his mother and uncle Will, who treated him badly. At the age of 13, he ran away from home and started to search for his father. After a 85 miles barefoot walk he found him and became a full family member.

In the thirties he crossed paths with Blues man Charlie Patton, who taught him playing the guitar and Howlin‘ Wolf started to perform as a solo artist. He also worked and recorded with musicians like Floyd Jones, Johnny Shines, Honeyboy Edwards, Sonny Boy Williamson II, Robert Johnson, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Willie Brown, Son House and Willie Johnson. In 1948 he founded his own band featuring the guitarists Willie Johnson and Matt „Guitar“ Murphy, Junior Parker on harmonica and Willie Steele on drums. The trademark of the sound was Howlin‘ Wolf’s unique voice and the local radio station KWEM in West Memphis began broadcasting the live performances.


In 1951 the first singles were released: „How Many More Years“ with „Moaning at Midnight“ on the flip side (by Chess Records) and „Riding in the Moonlight“ backed with „Moaning at Midnight“ (by RPM Records). One year later, Howlin‘ Wolf was signed only by Chess Records and the Blues man moved to Chicago. More singles followed and in 1959 his debut album „Moanin‘ in the Moonlight“ was released.


In the sixties the Blues classics „Wang Dang Doodle„, „Back Door Man“, „Spoonful“, „The Red Rooster“ (later known as „Little Red Rooster„), „I Ain’t Superstitious„, „Goin‘ Down Slow“ and „Killing Floor“ hit the market and Howlin‘ Wolf became a very famous musician not only on the Blues scene. In 1964 he toured Europe – in the same year, The Rolling Stones reached number one in UK with their version of „Little Red Rooster„. Howlin‘ Wolf continued recording and perfroming – and he worked with many musicians all around the world, like Bo Diddley, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. In 1973 his last album „The Back Door Wolf“ for Chess Reccords was released. In the seventies Howlin‘ Wolf suffered several heart attacks and on the 10th January 1976 he died due to complications of kidney disease. He passed away at the age of 66.

Get your Howlin‘ Wolf stuff here (for Austrian customer):

Good Things Gmunden

        Shop for HOWLIN‘ WOLF here (Worldwide):

Howlin' Wolf Shop (GERMANY)           Howlin' Wolf Shop (UK)           Howlin' Wolf Shop (USA)           GERMANY                                        UK                                             USA

Music Diary – 9th December

Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 9th December!

Cream - Fresh Cream

On the 9th December 1966 the Cream debut „Fresh Cream“ was released. It was not only the first LP for the British supergroup feat. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker – this LP marked also the first release for the new independent label Reaction Records, which was run by procuder Robert Stigwood. On the same day the sinlge „I feel free“ hit also the stores. This song is not featured on the UK edition of the LP, but it has been put on the US release (instead of the Willie Dixon cover „Spoonful„), which was first available in January 1967. The recording sessions for „Fresh Cream“ took place at the Rayrik and Ryemuse Studios in London from July until October 1966. The album reached No. 6 on the UK and No. 39 on the US chart.

Get your Cream stuff here (for Austrian customer):

Good Things Gmunden

                                                    Shop  for CREAM here:
Cream Shop (GERMANY)           Cream Shop (UK)            Cream Shop (USA)          GERMANY                                       UK                                                USA