23

Jan 12

Etta James: “Stormy Weather”

At Last!

Etta James: 1938-2012

Trying to get back into the swing of things after a weather-disrupted week last week, today’s song is dedicated to Etta James, one of the all-time great R&B singers, who passed away this past Friday at the age of 73. Few voices in popular music can compare to James’ bluesy, soulful belt, which could go from a beautiful croon to a throaty shout and back again within moments, and you couldn’t imagine anyone else singing it any other way.

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins) lived a stormy kind of life — drugs, alcohol, tumultuous relationships, the works — and that, combined with my far more trivial storm-related tribulations last week, makes her take on “Stormy Weather” seem like a fitting song to choose for the occasion. It appears on her classic 1961 album, At Last! — her first album on the Chess label and very possibly the best album of her career — an album so good that “Stormy Weather” just seems like part of the flow, not standing out as the highlight that it would on any lesser album.

Etta will be missed.

3 Comments

  1. kim prince says:

    Super pick! Great choice! My bb isn’t letting me like but will share tonight.

    1. Dave Gershman says:

      Thanks Kim…obviously, I agree!

  2. Judyzwo says:

    Never heard this version. Lovely!

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