There are always tasks that I put off. I’m a procrastinator, so I guess that’s natural. Something always comes up as a distraction – something more pressing that needs to get done and all of these little projects to do that I have in my head just get pushed to the back burner.
I have been wanting to put my SJSU choreography pieces on my YouTube channel, but something more important always comes up. Or something interesting pops up on TV or someone posts an fascinating video on Facebook. Then Etta James died on Friday. A great talent gone.
I had originally fallen in love with the song “At Last” (of course), but then grew to love her catalogue of songs from the ’60s. I was fortunate enough to have seen her in concert (2003 or 2004???) in San Francisco with my husband (at that time, though, we were just dating!). I already knew that I loved that raucous attitude in her voice, but seeing her live just confirmed it.
A graduation requirement at SJSU’s Dance department is to perform a solo and to choreograph a group piece. The music I chose for my group number was “My Dearest Darling” because of the lyrics and mood of the song and I danced alongside my two good friends in this piece about our friendship. When I hear this song, it still makes my hear flutter with delight and joy. Had this song been recorded by any other artist (maybe it has?), I don’t think it would make my soul swell the way that it does. I think only Etta James could do that.
With this amazing singer gone, it kicked my butt into high gear to get some of those videos on my channel, at last. Thank you, Jamesetta Hawkins, for the beautiful music and inspiration.
RIP, Etta James.
(Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with your speakers. The beginning of the piece is danced in silence!)