I can’t say that I know a ton about Etta James. I don’t own all of her albums and I’d be lying if I said I’ve listened to her anytime in the past couple of months. One of the most beautiful things about music though, is that regardless of how much you listen to a particular artist or how well you know their body of work, that they can still hold a special place in your heart. My love for Etta James revolves around one song. While she’s had plenty other great songs, songs that I do listen to, it’s one song in particular called “I’d Rather Go Blind” that I will always associate with her. The first time I heard this song was in 8th grade. My good friend Manuel Martinez had a four disc box set called Chess Blues and he played this song for me. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Both him and I had just broken up with our girlfriends and were pretty damn depressed as we dealt with deep (or so what we thought at the time) guy / girl emotions for one of the first times in our lives. Before we knew it, this song was on repeat and we listened to it in his room about 20 times in a row.
To this day, it evokes emotion in me as a truly deep and touching song about heartbreak. I just found the song on youtube and as I’ve been writing this blog post, I’ve played it about five times already. As always, it not only brings me back to that day, but it also shows me how much music can resonate with you and channel emotions that we deal with in our day-to-day lives. So yeah, in tribute to Etta James, please enjoy this song and may she rest in peace.