The Complete Singles As & Bs 1955-62
Styles: Blues, R&B
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3204
Etta James is widely regarded as one of the finest female blues, R&B and soul singers of the modern era, second only in some eyes to Aretha Franklin - Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler called her “the greatest of all modern blues singers”. After a chequered early life, she was discovered in Los Angeles singing with a vocal group at the age of 16 by Johnny Otis, who signed her to Modern, and she scored an R&B No. 1 in 1955 with her debut recording “The Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)”, a re-working of Hank Ballard’s “Work With Me, Annie”, following it up with another Top 10 R&B hit “Good Rockin’ Daddy”. After recording briefly for Modern subsidiary Kent, she signed to the Chess label, and began recording material that combined the intensity of R&B with the accessibility of pop and the polish of jazz, switching to the Chess sister label Argo in 1960, and hitting the pop and R&B charts with more than fifteen records between 1960 and ’62, including Top 5 successes like “All I Could Do Was Cry”, “My Dearest Darling”, “At Last”, “Trust In Me” and “Something's Got A Hold On Me”, before aspects of her life began to unravel in subsequent years. This great-value 53-track 2-CD set comprises all her A & B sides during those first important years of her career, plus a bonus album version of “Dance With Me Henry”, so it’s a comprehensive overview of her early work.