Etta's versatility enabled her to bridged the gap between Rhythm & Blues and Rock & Roll, and during her 50 plus year career
(starting in 1954) she recorded Rhythm & Blues ~ Rock & Roll ~ Blues ~ Soul ~ Gospel & Jazz.
Although many of the sets in this series contain up to 8 albums, they all seem to stop (at this time) in 1962,
and are a 'public-domain compilation'.
This set contains the only four albums Etta James had released by the end of 1962.
"The Wallflower" ~ Etta's debut charted single, 1955 #1 R&B, is also known as "Roll With Me Henry" and was co-written by Etta in 1954.
James recorded the version & it was released in 1955 but with the title changed to "Dance With Me Henry"
to avoid censorship because of what the title might imply. This was an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Work With Me Annie".
From 1955 to the end of 1962 James had 13 songs make the R&B chart, (15 pop) all are here and all b/s.
Disc 1 & 2 have more the R&B sound of Etta that I love, such as "My Dearest Darling", "Trust In Me",
"A Sunday Kind Of Love", "At Last", "All I Could Do Was Cry", "If I Can't Have You" and
Something's Got A Hold On Me" etc. So I was surprised to find "It Could Happen To You" on disc 2.
I've never heard this song before, it reminds me of Etta, trying to sound like Doris Day.
Disc 3 & 4 contain several tracks from the late 1950's, and of course those tracks have more of a fifty's sound,
but there's several good tracks there, and this is an excellent set of Etta's music!
Track Listing ~ and identifying the charted songs numbers 1 to 13 and the 13 B-sides of the R&B chart.
Also noted are the songs that charted only on the R&B or only pop chart.
So this set includes every singles & B/side, weather R&B or POP from 1955 to the end of 1962.
Disc One ~
~~~ At Last ~~~ 1961
1. Anything to Say You're Mine ~ b/s
2. My Dearest Darling ~ 5
3. Trust in Me ~ 8
4. A Sunday Kind of Love ~ b/s
5. Tough Mary b/s
6. I Just Want to Make Love to You ~ b/s
7. At Last ~ 7
8. All I Could Do Was Cry ~ 3
9. Stormy Weather
10. Girl of My Dreams ~ b/s
~~~ The Second Time Around ~~~ 1961
11. Don't Cry Baby ~ 10
12. Fool That I Am ~ 9
13. One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)
14. In My Diary
15. Seven Day Fool ~ 11 - pop only
16. It's Too Soon to Know ~ 10 -pop only
17. Dream ~ b/s R&B --- a/s pop
18. I'll Dry My Tears
19. Plum Nuts
20. Don't Get Around Much Anymore
Disc Two ~
~~~ Etta James ~~~ 1962
1. Waiting for Charlie to Come Home ~ b/s
2. Guess Again
3. A Lover's Mourn
4. You Can Count on Me
5. If I Can't Have You ~ 4
6. Something's Got a Hold on Me ~ 11
7. My Dear
8. Nobody But You
9. Let Me Know
10. Spoonful ~ 6
~~~ Etta James Sings For Lovers ~~~ 1962
11. Don't Take Your Love From Me
12. How Do You Speak to an Angel
13. Fools Rush in ~ b/s - R&B a/s - pop
14. Don't Blame Me
15. Someone to Watch Over Me
17. I Want to Be Loved
18. It Could Happen to You
19. These Foolish Things
20. Prisoner of Love
Disc Three ~
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1955
1. The Wallflower (Roll with Me Henry) ~ 1 - R&B only
2. Hold Me, Squeeze Me ~ b/s - R&B only
3. Hey Henry
4. Be Mine
5. Good Rockin' Daddy ~ 2 - R&B only
6. Crazy Feeling ~ b/s - R&B only
8. That's All
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1956
9. Number One (My One and Only)
10. I'm a Fool
11. Shortnin' Bread Rock
12. Tears of Joy
13. Tough Lover
14. What Fools We Mortals Be
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1957
15. Good Lookin'
16. Then I'll Care
17. The Pickup
18. Market Place
19. Come What May
20. By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Disc Four ~
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1957
1. Dance With Me Henry - (from the Crown)
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1958
2. Sunshine of Love
3. Baby Baby Every Night
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1958
4. Strange Things Happening - (from the Kent)
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1959
5. I Hope Your Satisfied
6. If It Ain't One Thing
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1960
7. How Big a Fool
8. My Heart Cries ~ b/s
9. It's a Crying Shame b/s
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1961 - from the Crown
10.Don't You Remember
11. Hickory Dickory Dock
12. Nobody Loves You Like Me
13. We're in Love
14. You Know What I Mean
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1961 from the Original Sound
15. Good Rockin' Daddy - Alternate Mix
~~~ Bonus Singles ~~~ 1962
16. Stop the Wedding ~ 12
17. Street of Tears ~ b/s
18. Next Door to the Blues ~ 13
19. Would It Make Any Difference to You.
If your a fan of R&B music, this is one of the best sets to own, it's one I've greatly enjoyed.
These remastered recording have excellent sound.
As with other titles in this series, there's no liner notes, just the tracks listing and album dates.
James struggled with many obstacles throughout her life, she lived with a series of foster parents,
she had a long battle with drug addition which resulted in numerous run-ins with the law.
A portion of Etta's early career is portrayed by Beyonce' Knowles in the 2008 film, "Cadillac Records".
The film is loosely based on founder and producer Leonard Chess rise & fall of Chess Records,
and how the label helped further James career, and Etta's search for who her biological father was, whom she believed to be
(Rudolf "Minnesota Fats" Wanderone) "Minnesota Fats" the white pool player whom she finally briefly met in 1987.
James has received many accolades, including 6 Grammys, 17 Blues Music Awards, among others.
Inducted into the Rock & Roll hall of Fame ~ 1993, and the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001,
and as recently as 2008 Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 'Greatest Singers of All Time'.
She passed away January 2012 (5 days before her 74th birthday) ~ just 3 days after the death of Johnny Otis,
the man who had discovered her in the mid 50's.