Perhaps I'm a bit partial to Ms James. This was the first dance for my husband and me. No doubt some of you had the pleasure of this being your first song as well. Let's explore Etta James and link her to Blessed John Paul.
If you're letting this video play while reading the blog, you are realizing that Etta James is more of a jazz singer than strictly a pop or R&B singer.
Reckoning #1, Bloodline and an underworld
Here's Minnesota Fats talking smack and shootin' pool, what he did best. I remember him on TV in the 70s. My parents got such a kick out of his smack talk and amazing pool shots.
Both Etta and Minnesota had movies made about them. Etta was played by third degree, Beyonce Knowles. Her possible father, Minnesota Fats, was played by Jackie Gleason in the 1961 movie, "The Hustler." Gleason won an Academy Award for that role. In the 60s, he made this campaign ad for Richard Nixon. We have a bad connotation with Richard Nixon's name now, but, in light of the shenanigans our current government is getting up to with SuperPacs, insider trading in Congress, and swinging Republicans for family values, Nixon is looking more and more like a boy scout!
|Nixon and Pope Paul VI|
Reckoning #2, The Artist
When Etta was 14 her life changed, she was taken under the wing of Johnny Otis, The Godfather of Rhythm and Blues. Otis' and James' age difference mirrored that of Minnesota Fats and Dorothy Hawkings, but, instead of sexual exploitation, Otis mentored the young girl.
Otis was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes, the son of Greek working classimmigrants.
Otis' older brother became a diplomat. He was US Ambassedor to Jordan and then to Egypt, where he knew and worked with First Degree, Hosni Mubarak.
Otis produced hundreds of albums and discovered scores of artists. He produced the original version of the Lieber and Stoller tune, Hound Dog, a song later made famous by Elvis Presley. Here is the original version by Big Mama Thornton. Guess who met second degree, Richard Nixon?
To recap, Etta James is four degrees from Pope John Paul II.
- Etta to Beyonce to Zahi Hawas to George Bush to Pope John Paul II
- Etta to Johnny Otis to Ambassador Veliotis to Hosni Mubarak to Pope John Paul II
- Etta to Minnesota Fats to Jackie Gleason to Richard Nixon to Pope Pius XII and Paul VI
- Etta to Johnny Otis to Elvis Presley to Richard Nixon to Pius XII and Paul VI to Pope John Paul II