Reviews \

Etta James, ‘The Essential Modern 
Records Collection’ (Capitol/EMI)

Andrew Hultkrans // April 5, 2011

Bleach-blonde blueswoman Jamesetta Hawkins shot to fame in 1955 at age 15 when she answered Hank Ballard’s R&B hit “Work With Me, Annie” with “The Wallflower” and Bo ?Diddley’s “I’m a Man” with ?”W-O-M-A-N,” becoming something like the Roxanne Shanté of her day, a brassy, mouthy female taking no guff in a male-dominated field. Though she’s celebrated for her post-1960 Chess recordings and ’67 Muscle Shoals scorcher Tell Mama, her ’50s singles, collected here, trace the development of soul’s first queen.