Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips

Real Name:
Esther Mae Jones
Profile:
Esther Phillips (born December 23, 1935, Galveston, Texas, USA - died August 7, 1984, Carson, California, USA) was an American soul and blues singer who was an influence on many other artists including Aretha Franklin.

A mature singer at age fourteen, she won the amateur talent contest in 1949 at the Barrelhouse Club owned by Johnny Otis. Otis was so impressed he added her to his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, billed as 'Little Esther Phillips'. Her first hit record was "Double Crossing Blues" (#1 R+B), recorded in 1950 for Savoy Records. Her duet with Mel Walker on "Mistrusting Blues", also went to number one that year, as did "Cupid Boogie". Other Phillips records that made it onto the U.S. Billboard R&B chart in 1950 include "Misery" (#9), "Deceivin'" (#4), "Wedding Boogie" (#6), and "Faraway Blues" (#6). Few artists, R&B or otherwise, have ever enjoyed such success in their debut year. Phillips left Otis and the Savoy label at the end of 1950 and signed with Federal Records. Although she recorded more than thirty sides for Federal, only one, "Ring-a-Ding-Doo", charted; making it to #8 in 1952. Not working with Otis was part of her problem; the other part was her drug usage. By the middle of the decade Phillips was chronically addicted to drugs.

Phillips ultimately got well enough to launch a comeback in 1962. Now billed as Esther Phillips instead of Little Esther, she recorded a country tune, "Release Me," with producer Bob Gans. This went to number 1 on R&B and number 8 on the pop listings. After several other minor R&B hits on Lenox, she was signed by Atlantic Records. Her cover of The Beatles' song "And I Love Him" nearly made the R&B Top Ten in 1965 and The Beatles flew her to the UK for her first overseas performances.

During the 1970's she made a temporary move into disco material and scored an international hit with "What A Difference A Day Made", an updating of the 1930's jazz standard
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure.
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Esther Phillips Discography

Albums

"Little" Esther Phillips* And The Anita Kerr Singers "Little" Esther Phillips* And The Anita Kerr Singers - Release Me! Reflections Of Country And Western Greats (Album) Lenox Records US 1962 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips And I Love Him (Album) Atlantic US 1965 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (Album) Atlantic US 1966 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Esther (Album) Atlantic UK 1966 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Burnin' (Live At Freddie Jett's Pied Piper, L.A.) (Album) Atlantic US 1970 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips From A Whisper To A Scream (Album) Kudu Spain 1971 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Alone Again, Naturally (Album) Kudu Netherlands 1972 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Black-Eyed Blues (Album) Kudu Japan 1973 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Performance (Album) Kudu UK 1974 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips W/ Beck* Esther Phillips W/ Beck* - What A Diff'rence A Day Makes (Album) Kudu, Kudu Canada 1975 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Capricorn Princess (Album) Kudu Australia 1976 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips With Beck* Esther Phillips With Beck* - For All We Know (Album) Kudu Colombia 1976 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Confessin' The Blues (Album) Atlantic Canada 1976 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips You've Come A Long Way, Baby (Album) Mercury Scandinavia 1977 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips All About (Album) Mercury US 1978 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Here's Esther...Are You Ready (Album) Mercury Italy 1979 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips Good Black Is Hard To Crack (Album) Mercury US 1980 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips A Way To Say Goodbye (Album) Muse Records US 1986 Sell This Version
Esther Phillips The Rising Sun Collection (Album) Just A Memory Records Germany 1995 Sell This Version
MOA 503 Ray Charles & Esther Phillips Ray Charles & Esther Phillips - It's A Blues Thing(CD, Album) Monad Records (2) MOA 503 US 1995 Sell This Version
712 Esther Phillips The Early Years(LP) Yorkshir 712 Unknown Sell This Version
713 Esther Phillips Hollerin' And Screamin'(LP) Yorkshir 713 US Unknown Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

Esther Phillips Release Me (Single) Lenox Records US 1962 Sell This Version
"Little Esther" Phillips* & "Big Al" Downing* "Little Esther" Phillips* & "Big Al" Downing* - You Never Miss Your Water (Till The Well Runs Dry) / If You Want It (I've Got It) (Single) Lenox Records US 1963 Sell This Version
"Little" Esther Phillips* Why Should We Try Anymore / While It Lasted (Single) Lenox Records US 1963 Sell This Version