2013-03-21 14:32:23 - “Etta James encompasses all the rich attributes I seek when putting my faith into the artistry of a musician. She was a sincere, ferociously talented lady, with her foundation honed securely within roots music. Blessed with the benefit of a candid persona and strong stage presence, she maintained a proletarian appeal that transcended her humble origins. I would suggest it is not the fragmented facts or challenging narrative of Etta James’s life that are paramount, but her unsurpassed musical catalogue. Etta’s greatest triumph was simply the purity of her music and her musical legacy will always reign supreme- she was no doubt a challenging musical icon and one of the greatest singers of our time”.
Excerpts from the new eBook tribute to Etta James by Stephanie Lynne Thorburn titled, ‘Ode to Etta: A Homage to Etta James.'
-The digital book contains two biographical studies, original portraiture artwork by the author, archival links and educational resources on Etta James.
Special contribution: from Bill Wyman, who offers some succinct personal reflections on Etta’s music and legacy. A testimonial from Etta James’s Musical Director, guitarist Brian Ray has also been added with source links.
See author’s page on True Fire for 'Ode to Etta' (pdf), sample content available: -
Some apt personal insights from Bill Wyman to author Stephanie Lynne on Etta James’ music, life-force & legacy
Bill Wyman & his Rhythm Kings personify archetypal rhythm, blues & soul music. Their musical repertoire is permeated by a love of classic R & B and jazz artists, especially Etta James, Billie Holiday and Louis Jordan. The Rhythm Kings have covered a number of Etta’s songs including the seminal ‘Tell Mama'.
“It goes without saying, what a great singer Etta was – and in her honour we have, (as you have said), performed with Beverley Skeete, some of the songs she did.
She was the
support act for the Stones 1978 US Tour, and I got to know her a little.
When the Stones would walk offstage drenched with sweat, with the clothes sticking to their bodies, I would follow ‘dry as a bone'. Etta would be sitting on a flight case as we passed by, and she would say endearingly about me,
- 'Here come Mr. Cool!'
She’s a singer I sadly miss – she was a one-off and irreplaceable."
Bill Wyman, March 2013.
Legendary bassist & musician. (The Rhythm Kings & the Rolling Stones).
Bill Wyman has authored a range of quality specialist texts on popular music from blues to the Rolling Stones with co-author Richard Havers. One of my favourite reference texts is his 'Blues Odyssey: A Journey to Music’s Heart & Soul', 2001, Dorling Kindersley.
Blues Odyssey contains a detailed history on the historical and folk origins of authentic Delta blues. There are some 40 chapters on blues artists from Robert Johnson and Etta James to John Lee Hooker. The project encompasses a hard back book, audio CD selection and DVD.
*Page 283 of Blues Odyssey on the ‘blues greats’ is dedicated to Etta James.
Bill summarises Etta’s strengths as a blues artist beautifully,
“If the blues is about love and loss, then Etta James recorded the soundtrack".
“When I was looking for songs for my album Double Bill, I remembered an old Etta James song. Beverley Skeete, our female vocalist, and I love Etta’s singing, so we decided to record ‘Trust in Me'. Bev’s singing is brilliant. If there’s a better ballad, I must have missed it."
With thanks to: - Bill Wyman & Ripple Records, Derry Thorburn (photography) and Brian Ray in the assimilation of the text for 'Ode to Etta James'.
About the Author: Stephanie Lynne Thorburn.
Stephanie Lynne Thorburn is a freelance writer, artist and Reiki master who has completed a Holistic Health Practitioner certification with Reiki Rays Institute. She writes features primarily focused on music and nascent areas of social science, including Sociology and Parapsychology. She holds an MA in Sociology: Qualitative Research from Goldsmiths College, London UK and has undertaken a range of vocational diplomas including Transformative Social Studies, Graphic Arts (UKCHT) and Parapsychology, (all with distinction). She is a fellow of the Institute for Meridian Psychotherapy and Associated Complementary Therapies and is a Consultant & Advisor to the Journal of Anomalous Sciences.
Stephanie has freelanced extensively for press, especially Los Angeles Chronicle and PR-Inside.com. She contributes to a selection of official music sites and journals including Blues Matters and Record Collector. She worked in an organisational role on the Executive Committee of the London Screenwriters' Workshop from 2002-2004. Stephanie has a keen interest in sports, including snooker and cricket.
Over time, Stephanie Lynne has authored a series of music related eBooks for Kindle and True Fire, notably 'Incendiary Soul', a succinct biography of the Sales Brothers and 'Blues Scholars', a compendium eBook of her biographical features on blues greats including Robert Johnson, John Lee Hooker and Etta James. Ongoing works include her continuing postgraduate published papers, 'The Astrosociological Imagination' and the 'Consciousness, Human Enigma and Parapsychology' Kindle series. Her most recent publication 'David English: The RSO Legacy & Bunbury Cricket Club Tails' was top ranked on Amazon UK, Christmas 2012. She edits her own avant-garde webzine 'Nuance'. Stephanie Lynne and Nuance are ambassadors of the 'One Planet' initiative. See author homepage for up-to date news on her publications and art projects.
Author homepage: Stephanie Lynne Thorburn. www.stephaniethorburn.webs.com