180 Gram Vinyl! One of the Most Fabulous and Respected Figures in the History of R&B Music!
James' self-titled album contains the song "Dance With Me Henry" which
she co-wrote along with Johnny Otis and Hank Ballard as an answer song
to the Hank Ballard tune "Work With me Annie". The song is also known as
"The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)" or "Roll With Me Henry". The
1955 song was covered for the pop market by Georgia Gibbs titled as
"Dance With Me Henry". In 2008, Etta James received a Grammy Hall of
Fame Award for her 1955 recording of the song.
Etta James is one
of the most fabulous and respected figures in the history of R&B
music. Here are some of Miss Peaches’ legendary pre-Chess recordings
including the first session, cut on Thanksgiving Eve 1954, when she was
just 16, which yielded “Roll With Me, Henry”.
"Jean Mitchell and
her sister Abbysinia came from New Orleans and were Creole-looking
people," wrote our subject in her autobiography. "Jean was my age; Abbye
was eight or nine years older. Jean and I started singing together.
Soon Abbye joined in and, just like that, we became the Creolettes. We
were project girls imitating the young rhythm and blues of the time.
Mainly, though, we were intrigued with vocal harmony. We developed a
tight three-way blend, imitating groups like the Spaniels, the Swallows,
the Chords and the Spiders. One afternoon the Creolettes were singing
at a record hop when who should show up but Hank Ballard and his
superfine Midnighters. We were thrilled. When they heard us sing, they
said something encouraging and, man, that’s all we needed to hear. When
they sang "Work With Me, Annie", the place went wild. Next day the song
was still on my mind. Answer songs were big back then, and then it
occurred to me – why not answer Hank’s hit? I liked doing spunky shit.
So I wrote "Roll With Me, Henry", a pushy little jiveass reply."
blockbuster initiation was produced by the fabled Johnny Otis, the
hipster also responsible for renaming Ms H and her gal pals Etta James
and the Peaches: "The Peaches were pissed because I was getting the
glory, but I was even more pissed than the Peaches because Georgia Gibbs
came out with her Suzy Creamcheese version. I was happy to have any
success, but I was enraged to see Her Nibbs singing the song on the Ed
Sullivan Show while I was singing it in some funky dive in Watts."
Providing the voice of “Henry” on Etta’s original was Richard Berry, who
went on to sing on and write many other songs for her, some of which,
like "Good Rockin’ Daddy", also feature back-ups by those fabulous
chicks, the Dreamers.
Not only has Etta James made some
wonderful records in her illustrious career , she has also authored the
brilliant autobiography "Rage To Survive", from which all of the above
quotations are borrowed.
Recording: 1954-56 in Los Angeles
• 180g Vinyl
• Limited Edition
• Re-mastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
1. Good Rockin' Daddy
2. Hey Henry
3. Strange Things
4. That's All
5. I'm A Fool
1. Dance With Me Henry
2. Do Something Crazy
4. My One And Only
5. I Hope Your Satisfied