Monday, October 10, 2016

The 2015/1967 Countdown - 10/10/2016 Update

Today, we return to our 1967's Super Soulsters' Deep Cuts Review mix, and listen to one of the most successful R&B B-sides of all time.

Few female R&B/Blues singers had a longer/more critically revered career or a more turbulent life  than California's Etta James.

A performer since her California teen days in the 1950s, she landed with Chess Records in 1960 and scored a number of hits at the start of the decade, but by 1967, a longtime heroin addiction, several failed relationships, and a habit of fighting with producers had her career in a serious tailspin and drove her into isolation.

When she finally re-emerged ready to work, Chess heads felt a temporary change of scenery would be best for all parties, and had her head down to Alabama to record with Muscle Shoals' producer Rick Hall instead.

The collaboration would prove quite fruitful, adding a layer of grit and muscle to James up-to-that-point smoother sound, and would generate one of the greatest two-sided singles of all time - the 1967 pairing of the rocking Tell Mama (featured on Nancy's Favorites) with the searing blues ballad I'd Rather Go Blind, which James had originally written with her friend Ellington Jordan while visiting him in prison. Both songs were huge successes, and I'd Rather Go Blind has gone on to become one of the most-covered R&B ballads of all-time.

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