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