We gather here today to reflect, remember, remind, and to rehash the life, legacy and ultimate liberation of one sister Jamesetta Hawkins better known to her millions….and millions of fans as Mrs. Etta James. She may have started her life as a Wallflower, with only a Spoonful at times to eat or to drink, but she persevered through her BreakingPoint to be one of the world’s most respected and loved entertainers. Only Time (Will) Would Tell how great this W-O-M-A-N would be. Her songs became therapy—good philosophical treaties as she told us to Tighten Up Your Own Thing and the proverbial, There are Two Sides to Every Story.
She also became our love therapist as she reminded us that we men must be Good Rocking Daddies, because the Good Lookin', Sunshine of Love could turn into a Tough Lover. She also had a word for the women as well. She reminded women not to be a Pushover, because if you are not coming correct, You Can Leave your Hat On because though I Prefer You, Don’t Lose your Good Thing.
But she is probably most remembered as a lover who loved hard. You could not hear an Etta James song and not feel the emotion, the happiness and joy, and yes the sorrow, grief, and pain. My Dearest Darling, she sang, All I Could Do Was to Cry, Fool that I Am, Would it Make Any Difference to You, because Loving You More Every Day, makes me realize that Something’s Got a Hold on Me. This is where she said that I Rather Go Blind, saying Baby What You Want Me to Do, because the Sound of Love has taken a Piece of my Heart and all I want to do is to Tell Mama.
But on that faithful day, I hear God saying Jamesetta, do you Trust in Me. I then hear Etta saying Yes, God, You are The Rock. On that day, Etta told her fans, I Saw the Light and I am ready to Fly Away. At Last, she said, I found my Sunday Kind of Love.
And with that, she went on home to Glory. Blessed be the name of our Lord!!