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Aretha Franklin Before She Was the Queen of Soul

The Columbia recordings of Aretha Franklin between 1960 and 1965 are not her best, but they show us an artist learning her craft and gathering the tools that would change American music.

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Wallflower: Etta James and Fame

Etta James was memorialized before she died, and it illustrates a new and common plight among older artists.

Alexander Heigl
Music

Etta's Blues: 1938 - 2012

Across decades and genres, you always know Etta James when you hear her; it would be difficult to think of anyone who sang so well for so long. While we embrace the body of work she left behind after passing away on January 20, it’s hard not to imagine how much more we might have gotten from her, if she’d managed to hook up with a label that knew how to handle a peerless voice.

Music

Laughing Through the Tears: The Enduring Journey of Etta James

As much as Etta James used her songwriting and vocal skills as primary sources for empowerment and critique, her performances and image were equally significant in reflecting a public persona bursting with wit, wildness, and sassy radicalism.

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Answers and Answers: The Roxanne and Annie Sagas

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters' saucy provocations of the 1950s caused a stir that would resonate with responses throughout the formative years of rock 'n' roll.


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