Legendary R&B singer, Etta James passed away earlier today from complications related to Leukemia. She would have been 74, next Wednesday (January 25th). She is widely know as one of the best singers of the 20th century and has inspired scores of R&B singers. She is best know for her biggest hit “At Last”, but has given so much more to the music world. Etta James had many struggles, from poverty to drug addiction, throughout her life, but has left a legacy of classic records and an indelible style that will live on for years and years to come. It’s very eerie that after decades of not being on the music charts, she is currently featured on Flo Rida’s new song, “Good Feeling” which is currently at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s weird how things happen sometimes, but very fitting that she passed away on top. Below is a live performance of her singing “At Last” and the music video for “Good Feeling”. R.I.P. Etta James.
Number 6 on my top 7 artists/groups is Matchbox Twenty. They are my favorite contemporary Rock band. They are also, from what I can remember the first group/artist, I ever found and liked all on my own, without parent, family or friend influence. When I started to seek out music on my own at around age 12 or 13, I started watching VH1 a lot and their song “3AM” was one of the first songs that came on when I flipped it on, along with Natalie Merchant’s “Kind & Generous” and a couple of Third Eye Blind songs and let me not forget “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground. Those were the musical DAYS!!! Next they came out with their song, “Real World” and I started to realize how much I liked them. They have only put out 3 official albums in the past 15 years, but what they have put out has been great and well crafted. Also, lead singer, Rob Thomas has 2 great solo CDs. I’ve actually had the privilege to actually have known Rob Thomas during my high school years. I worked at Hollywood Video and he would always come in for movies, because he lived the next town over. He recognized me from my other previous jobs, over the years, (Stop & Shop and KFC). Myself and a couple friends began to strike up conversations with him and would hang out with him in front of Hollywood Video, chatting and smoking cigarettes together. He never had any idea how big of a fan I was and I thought it was best to keep it that way. Celebrities just want to be treated like an average person and I think he genuinely appreciated that we gave him that. Also I got to know him more as a person and not just as the “star”. I did however manage to get his autograph through someone else. I asked them to ask for his autograph and have him sign it to my name and say it was for a friend who loved him and his music. Years later my father happened across the front of bass drum, that was signed by him as well. So I have his autograph twice. Matchbox Twenty is in my opinion the pinnacle of 90’s Alternative Rock. I relate very deeply with all of their songs and I believe that is one of the reasons I appreciate them so much, along with their impeccable song craftsmanship. The song I’ve chosen to share for today’s song of the day is “3AM”, their break out single and the first song I ever heard by them.