Moment of Silence X2

And now some quiet.

First for Johnny Otis, the great bandleader and composer of “Willie and the Hand Jive,” who died on Tuesday at age 90. (Obit here.)

And then for Ms. Etta James, one of Johnny Otis’ signature discoveries, who died today. (Obit here.)

It’s striking and maybe even a little eerie that we’ve lost these two legends — who first met in the early ’50s, when James was still a minor and singing on streetcorners in San Francisco — within the same week. At least both left troves of great music — to quickly appreciate James, skip over “At Last,” which will be played endlessly this week, and seek out “I’d Rather Go Blind” from Tell Mama. It’s one unassailable triumph of soul singing.



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