From the mid-1950s to the present, Etta James' powerful, soul-charged voice has become deeper and rougher, with a rich texture and heartfelt inflections. It goes without saying that the woman known as "Mama" is aging like California wine, and she can still open wounds in her songs and come out standing strong. When she was five years old, Jamesetta Hawkins amazed the congregation of her church choir. When she belted out Gospel songs with absolute spiritual fervor, it was clear that the child was a musical prodigy. Her career as a singer began when she recorded "The Wallflower" with Johnny Otis in 1954 for Modern Records. A year later, the song topped the charts. In 1960, she moved to Chess Records and soon began cranking out hits such as the driving, jiving, southern soul smash "Tell Mama," which Janis Joplin covered later that decade. Since then, she has recorded for Island and Elektra, experimenting with rock and jazz, but always returning to her Gospel-soaked roots and southern soul.
Etta James Concert Films
Live at Montreux 1993
Runtime: 1 hr 4 minIn the words of Ben Fong-Torres:
Etta James, who passed away in 2012, was such a magnetic singer and presence that she was a semi-regular at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, which is pretty selective about its bills. After her crack band opens with a couple, including “Hold On, I’m Coming,” James kills on “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “I Just Wanna Make Love to You,” and several more. “Come to Mama,” indeed!
Etta James made many appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival across her long and distinguished career from her first concert in 1975 through to her last in 2008. This film focuses on the concert from 1993 when she was at her absolute peak and complements it with selected tracks from many other Montreux appearances. It features many of her best loved tracks and songs that she is particularly associated with. Etta James was one of the most respected performers of her generation. In a career stretching over 60 years she was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall Of Fame and the Blues Hall Of Fame, won 3 Grammys and received many more nominations and was named Female Blues Artist Of The Year on no less than 14 occasions. Sadly, Etta James passed away after a long illness in January 2012 and this film is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest female vocalists of the 20th century.
Burnin' Down The House
Etta James & The Roots Band
Runtime: 53 minEtta James, and her long time backing band The Roots Band, showcases her ability to take on any genre and conquer it. In Burning Down The House she goes from the sultry jazz of At Last to the RocknRoll of I Just Wanna Make Love to You, to the deep blues of Id Rather Go Blind to the funk of You Can Leave Your Hat On.
Etta James Top Tracks
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 58 minOne of the greatest entertainers of all time and the most influential black artist of the 20th century, Mr. James Brown appears here in one of his legendary live shows. This concert, recorded during the glory days of the great man's career at Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Atlanta, includes a live selection of Brown's monster hits. So get ready to go back, way back to 1985 and take your exclusive seat to see the Godfather of Soul perform!
Live At The Royal Albert Hall 1979
Runtime: 57 minDusty Springfield is Britains greatest ever pop diva and the possessor of one of the finest and most soulful voices of all time. She dominated both the UK and US charts throughout the sixties with a string of hit singles that have stood the test of time as true classics. Originally a member of the folk trio The Springfields, from whom she took her stage name, she became a solo artist in 1963 after being exposed to the magic of Motown whilst playing in America and became probably the finest ever white soul singer. Diagnosed with breast cancer in the mid-nineties she died in 1999 at the age of just 59.
This concert, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in 1979 in the presence of HRH Princess Margaret, captures Dusty at the height of her career. The show is packed with hits (including 9 UK top 10 singles), which are delivered with all the glitz and panache that were Dustys trademark and have made her a major gay icon as well as beloved of music fans everywhere.
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 56 minMind, Body & Soul Sessions features R&B phenom Joss Stone live in concert in 2004. Recorded at New York's Irving Plaza, the show begins with an introduction by the legendary Betty Wright, who co-produced the Brit's stunning debut, The Soul Sessions, and co-wrote several songs on the second, Mind, Body & Soul. The barefoot singer then gets down to business, performing a solid selection of material from both albums, including "Super Duper Love" from the first and "You Had Me" from the follow-up. Stone receives strong support from a tight band, distinguished by powerful drummer Caesar Griffin.
Live At Montreux
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minRay Charles was one of the true pioneers of soul music. Born in Georgia in 1930 he was one of the first performers to mix gospel, R & B and jazz to create a new form of black pop music that would come to be known as soul. His voice and delivery were strikingly different and instantly recognizable. He had his first hits in the early 50’s and was still hitting the charts into the 21st century. His death in June 2004 from liver disease was front-page news around the world. This concert was filmed at the Montreux Jazz Festival
on July 19, 1997 and features Ray Charles and his orchestra, led by sax player Al Jackson, and of course The Raelettes. The set includes many of his most popular tracks such as Shadows Of My Mind, Georgia On My Mind, and the No.1 hit I Can’t Stop Loving You.
Live at Montreux 1976
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minNina Simone one of the great female vocalists of the 20th Century, made four appearances at the Montreux Festival between 1968 and 1990. This film features the whole of the performance from 1976 as the main item, which is supplemented as bonus features by two tracks from her concert in 1987 and four from her final show in 1990. This is the definitive Nina Simone live film.
Live at Montreux 2006
Runtime: 1 hr 56 minSoul legend Solomon Burke delivers a twenty-song set in Montreux. He delivers renditions of such classics as "Georgia On My Mind," and "I Will Survive,", and he performs a number of medleys that include such recognizable standards as "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," and "Tutti Frutti."
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minStill Bill is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean On Me," "Lovely Day," "Grandma's Hands," and "Just the Two of Us." With his soulful delivery and warm, heartfelt sincerity, Withers has written the songs that continue to resonate deeply within the fabric of our times. Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace and interviews with music and sports legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs of our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man.
The Day She Came to Dingle
Runtime: 59 minRecorded in December 2006 in a tiny church located in the south west corner of Ireland, the town of Dingle played host to Amy whilst she recorded the show for Irish TV music series Other Voices. Amy delivered an electrifying 20 minute live performance to a crowd of 85 in the tiny St James's Church, with acoustic performances of songs from her 'Back To Black' Album. In the revealing interview Amy spoke of her musical influences such as Mahalia Jackson, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles and the Shangri-Las and how she came to love jazz music.