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They said that Etta James is still vulgar. I said, Oh, how dare them say I'm still vulgar. I'm vulgar because I dance in the chair. What would they want me to do? Want me to just be still or something like that? I've got to do something.
The only time that I am really truly happy - when I feel at my best - is when I'm on the stage.
That's where it begins and ends for me and these songs were the ones that touched me the deepest. It was like I was laying hold of some part of me that I didn't even know was there until I let it out.
Now I can stand up on the stage again like I used to after five years of sitting down while I sang.
My mother was a jazz fanatic and she wanted me to play the piano so I could play jazz tunes. I wish I had learned but I was too busy getting into trouble!
My mother always wanted me to be glamorous. When I thought about that, it really fired me up, and once I lost all those pounds, I started to feel really good about myself.
My mother always told me, even if a song has been done a thousand times, you can still bring something of your own to it. I'd like to think I did that.
Most of the songs I sing have that blues feeling in it. They have that sorry feeling. And I don't know what I'm sorry about. I don't.
Johnny Guitar... just one of my favorite singers of all time. I met him when we were both on the road with Johnny Otis in the '50s when I was a teenager. We traveled the country in a car together.I would hear him sing every night.
It's the same thing now. When I go onstage the young people scream and holler as much as the older generation.
It's not about battling the original artists when I record these songs, it's about paying tribute to them.
I'm not a braggart, but when I was a little girl people used to come from all over Hollywood to hear me sing.
I wanna show that gospel, country, blues, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll are all just really one thing. Those are the American music and that is the American culture.
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