Saturday, February 28, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Little Esther & The Robins
Artist:Little Esther & The Robins
Album:Night Train Vol. 3: Classic Railroad Songs
Despite her premature death due to drug addiction, Little Esther Phillips had a long career of several decades. She was a star at age 13. She was born Esther Mae Jones Dec. 23, 1935 in Galveston, TX. She grew up singing in church. When her parents divorced, she moved to Los Angeles with her mother. In 1949, her sister entered her in a talent show at a club owned by bandleader Johnny Otis. He liked her so much that he took her into the recording studio and added her to his Johnny Otis Revue billed as Little Esther. Esther's first success as a recording artist was in 1950 with a series of singles with The Robins on Savoy Records. Their biggest hit was Double Crossin' Blues but Mainliner was part of those sessions. The songs were all written and produced by Jerry Lieber, Mike Stoller & Johnny Otis. You can get a taste on this various artists comp but these recordings are available on the 1999 CD Better Beware on the Charly label. Esther left Otis over money in 1953. She struggled for several years until her top ten hit Release Me in 1963. But her biggest hit was with the disco version of What A Diff'rence A Day Makes in 1976. Of course Esther was a big fan of Dinah Washington. Her drug addiction caught up with her and Esther Phillips died of kidney failure on Aug. 7, 1984 at age 48. Here's Esther Phillips performing Release Me at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival.