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Etta James: Deep in the Night

Joe McEwen, Rolling Stone, 1 June 1978

ONCE, WHEN I WAS FOURTEEN, I bought a copy of "My Dearest Darling" by Etta James, a record I'd heard as an oldie on a local station. The song haunted me, and I played it obsessively, day in and day out. "My Dearest Darling" had a special sort of emotional pull; it was demanding and soulful, yet somehow gentler and more vulnerable than even teenage stuff by the Vandellas or the Marvelettes. I played the 45 so much it drove my mother crazy. Finally, in exasperation, she threw the record away. But I got back at her. I bought a whole album of Etta James songs and played it often and loud. Etta James was somebody special.

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