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René Marie Remembers Etta James

Jan. 25, 1938-Jan. 20, 2012

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 cappella: “I … want … a …”

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

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