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Esther Phillips
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    (December 23, 1935-August 7, 1984)
    Born in Galveston, Texas
    Birth name was Esther Mae Jones
    As Little Esther recorded 'Double Crossing Blues,' 'Mistrusting Blues,' 'Cupid Boogie,' 'Misery,' 'Deceivin Blues,' 'Wedding Boogie' and 'Faraway Blues' (all 1950)
    As Esther Phillips recorded 'Release Me' (1962), 'And I Love Him' (1965), 'Set me Free' (1970), 'From a Whisper to a Scream' (1972), 'Alone Again (Naturally)' (1973), and 'What a Difference a Day Makes' (1975)
    She chose her last name from a Phillips gas station.
    She had a reputation for being difficult to work with.
    Her career was frequently interrupted by drug addiction and stints in rehab.
    She was discovered by band leader Johnny Otis when her sister entered her into a talent show.
    At age 15, she had six R&B Top Ten hits, including two chart-toppers.
    The Beates were so impressed with her version of 'And I Love Her' that they flew her to London for her first overseas tour.
    Atlantic Records head Ahmet Ertegun said, 'She was a natural singer. She could never sing bad.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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