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Etta James

Pete Grendysa, MCA Records, 1997

ETTA JAMES WAS just 21 years old when she came to Chess Records in 1960, but she was a seasoned show business veteran with six years on the road behind her. And those six years had been spent on the seamy underbelly of the rhythm & blues scene – one nighters, crowded buses on dangerous highways, drugs, sex, and alcohol. She came on board the wild rock 'n' roll ride right at the beginning when a single song on a single record could lead to instant stardom. The new teenaged icons of this spectacular music lived, Zen-like, only in the present, never thinking of the moment when the spotlights would suddenly fade.

Total word count of piece: 1645

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