Saturday, February 23, 2008

Your Hollywood minute.

A movie now in production will tell the story of Chess Records, the great R&B label of the late 50s and early 60s. The story will give particular attention to Etta James, a singer I love a lot, whose songs are proudly saved on my computer and who I have seen live in concert back in the 1990s.

Singer/Actress (emphasis on the singer) Beyonce Knowles will be playing Etta James. Notice the resemblance? Me neither. Their voices aren't much alike, either.

Playing legendary blues guitarist Muddy Waters will be the lovely and talented Jeffrey Wright. Notice the resemblance? Me neither. The importance difference here is that I know Jeffrey Wright is a good enough actor to pull this off. Ms. Knowles, while probably the sweetest piece of eye candy in pop music today, hasn't shown that much talent on the acting side.

Hooray for Hollywood.

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Now playing: Etta James - I'd Rather Go Blind
via FoxyTunes

5 comments:

Zoey & Me said...

Welllll . . . if Beyonce looks like the picture above in the upcoming movie, she won't have to act. Whoaaa.

Matty Boy said...

Eye candy she is, but if they are going to play Etta James as a bikini babe, it's a lo-o-o-o-ng way from the truth of the situation.

sfmike said...

When I first moved to San Francisco in the mid-70s, I was taken by a culturally enlightened Texan Mexican gay dude to the Great American Music Hall where Etta James was making one of her many comebacks from heroin addiction. She didn't show up for the first show, where we had tickets, so we just waited and waited and waited.

Finally, two and a half hours late, she arrived and I was ready to throw stuff at her for her sheer rudeness. And then she started a thirty-minute first song riff on "I'd Rather Be a Blind Girl than See You Walk Away," starting with nothing but desolation and soul-destroying sadness which somehow morphed into fury and humor and outrageous celebration at her sheer survival. I've still never seen/heard anything quite like it.

And the woman is STILL going strong, in 1908. We literally are not worthy.

Distributorcap said...

it may be hokey to say -- but can anyone sing "At Last" like Etta James

no

Matty Boy said...

When I was a kid, the Top 40 stations in the Bay Area, KYA, KFRC and KEWB, didn't play Etta James records when she was making hits. They played Motown, they played Aretha and other Atlantic recording stars, but from Chess Records, almost nothing, except some Chuck Berry. You had to listen to KDIA, the black station, to hear her.

Of her more recent recordings, she made a tribute album to Billie Holiday called Mystery Lady back in the 1990s that is brilliant. I particularly love "You've Changed" and "(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over". If you're a fan Etta James, I can definitely recommend this. Get thee over to a CD store or iTunes immediately.