January 25th is the birthdate of Jamesetta Hawkins, know to us as Etta James. Miss James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year as Creedence, Cream, the Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, Van Morrison and Dick Clark if you need a clue.
Jerry Wexler, Atlantic Records’ legendary producer, describes Etta James as “the greatest of all modern blues singers…the undisputed Earth Mother.” Her raw, unharnessed vocals and hot-blooded eroticism has made disciples of singers ranging from Janis Joplin to Bonnie Raitt. James’ pioneering 1950s hits – “The Wallflower” and “Good Rockin’ Daddy” – assure her place in the early history of rock and roll alongside Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Ray Charles. In the Sixties, as a soulful singer of pop and blues diva compared with the likes of Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday, James truly found her musical direction and made a lasting mark.