Friday, January 20, 2012

Johnny Otis (1921-2012) & Etta James (1938-2012)

He wrote "Willie & the Hand Jive", and was an early influence on many a musician. The music industry is mourning the passing of Johnny Otis, who left us on January 17 at 90 after a lengthy illness.

Otis had been doing a weekly radio show until health issues forced him to hang up his microphone in 2005. Most of us know him only for "Hand Jive", which has been covered by a good number of blues artists. Kingvidiot66 uploaded this clip of Otis himself performing his signature song.

Earlier today, we lost a grand dame of rhythm & blues, as Etta James passed away at 73. Again, she is best known for one particular song, in this case, "At Last", which was famously covered by Beyonce in the 2008 movie, "Cadillac Records". Beyonce was cast as Ms. James in the movie. However, here's a more recent vintage live clip of "At Last":

Rest in peace, Johnny & Etta. You'll both be missed.


magicdog said...

RIP to both - they were incredible artists!

I did have a hunch Ms. Etta James was not long for this world when I had seen some of her recent performances from a wheelchair. She could still belt them out, but it looked like it took all of her strength to do it. You have to admire her dedication to her fans and her craft.

hobbyfan said...

Amen to that!