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Etta James: A Sunday Kind of Love

René Marie recalls the impact of the dynamic singer on her own life and music

Rene Marie
Etta James

The sound system is an expensive one, the kind that lets you hear every nuance of a singer’s voice: its raspiness and breathiness; its aches, longing and loneliness. And Lawd, ha’ mercy, this woman’s voice reveals an ache in me I didn’t know I had, when she sings those first few lyrics a capella: “I … want … a …”

“Have mercy,” I think. “What does this woman want? Somebody please give it to her!”

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