Jan 12

Etta James: “Stormy Weather”


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.


  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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