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Perhaps the finest soul singer of the rock era-but equally at home singing blues and jazz — Etta James is one of the great women of American music. In Rage to Survive she tells her mesmerizing tale in her uniquely big, bold, and unrepentant voice. Without a trace of self-pity she describes her chaotic world of early R&B, depicts legends like Sam Cooke and Little Richard, details her dependency on drugs and bad men, and unsparingly recounts the golden age of soul, when her “Tell Mama” topped the charts. Rage to Survive is a funky, ribald tale told with unparalleled sass.

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