Editor's note: On this date in 1938, Etta James was born.
James At Last! in the midst of pop music doldrums
that magnificent voice came along An’ yeah,
Somethin’ Got A Hold On Me an’ so many, many others
An’ yeah, it wasn’t just that It Must Be Love It Was Love!
An’ it was a lot more than just a Sunday Kinda Love But, no,
I couldn’t Tell Mama straight, uptight, white lower middle class
prig obsessed with shabby respectability and an ignorant fascist
brutal father for whom Etta’s powerful voice was just more
“nigger music” no decent white person listened to but I did
guess I wasn’t decent! But that was the way I liked it—and
wanted it! Raw, powerful, soulful ‘Cause I’d Rather Go Blind
than live in a world without Etta James’s music!
I saw her live about three decades before her death opening for
B.B. King ‘cause the King of the Blues knew he needed a true
Princess of the Blues to properly open the show Yeah, so that’s it
Etta and this little exercise of Etta-mology in tribute
—by George Fish
Bio: George Fish is an Indiana freelance journalist and poet whose work has appeared in several national and regional publications and websites, especially those of left and alternative publications. He has been described as "knowledgeable in an unusual variety of fields." In addition to short stories and poems, Fish has also published extensively on economics and politics; popular music, especially blues; and humor. He also does Lenny Bruce/George Carlin-inspired stand-up comedy.