RIP Etta James

I’m late with this, but it’s worth noting here anyway that regal R&B singer Etta James, who died Friday at age 73, spent her last decades in Riverside, a surprise to many who first saw that fact in her obituaries.

She moved there in the 1980s from south L.A. for a better life for her and her family, a common theme in those who move inland.

We’ve still got her music, such as her iconic song “At Last,” seen in the video above in a filmed performance. Still, not only is James’ death a loss to the world, the Inland Empire has lost its queen.

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  • Bob Terry

    I was always a huge fan of Etta’s and Dinah Washington. I saw Etta at the Grove in Anaheim circa 2000 as the opening act for B.B. King. This was her “huge” stage…probably 300 lbs. She sat through out the whole performance but she was captivating. In 2003 when I got married in Laughlin…my bride walked down the aisle to “At Last”…and every woman in sight had a tear in their eye.

  • Larry Fox

    Hi David,

    I’ll be doing a tribute to Etta James and other blues & jazz artists who passed away during the recent past, on my radio show, “Claremont Straight Ahead”, via KSPC 88.7 FM (also http://www.kspc.org) at noon next Monday, January 30, 2012.

    Also, wanted to let you know that it was a real pleasure to interview your colleague Diana Sholley on my show last Monday. She, like you, was a real kick to chat with.

    Keep up your good work!

    [Larry, thanks for letting us know. Best of luck with the tribute to Etta, and presumably Johnny Otis and a few more recent passings. -- DA]