Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips

Real Name:
Esther Mae Jones
Soul and blues singer, an influence on many other artists including Aretha Franklin. Born Dec 23, 1935, died Aug 7, 1984.
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 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 1970s she made a temporary move into disco material and scored an international hit with "What A Difference A Day Made", an updating of the 1930s jazz standard
Phillips died at UCLA Medical Center in Carson, California in 1984, at the age of 48 from liver and kidney failure.
In Groups:

Esther Phillips Discography


LX-227 "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 LX-227 US 1962 Sell This Version
8102 Esther Phillips And I Love Him (Album) Atlantic 8102 US 1965 Sell This Version
8130 Esther Phillips The Country Side Of Esther Phillips (Album) Atlantic 8130 US 1966 Sell This Version
587010 Esther Phillips Esther (Album) Atlantic 587010 UK 1966 Sell This Version
SD 1565 Esther Phillips Burnin' (Live At Freddie Jett's Pied Piper, L.A.) (Album) Atlantic SD 1565 US 1970 Sell This Version
AC-20.006 Esther Phillips From A Whisper To A Scream (Album) Kudu AC-20.006 Spain 1971 Sell This Version
KU-09 Esther Phillips Alone Again, Naturally (Album) Kudu KU-09 Netherlands 1972 Sell This Version
SR-3352 Esther Phillips Black-Eyed Blues (Album) Kudu SR-3352 Japan 1973 Sell This Version
KUL 12 Esther Phillips Performance (Album) Kudu KUL 12 UK 1974 Sell This Version
KU-23 Esther Phillips W/ Beck* Esther Phillips W/ Beck* - What A Diff'rence A Day Makes (Album) Kudu, Kudu KU-23 Canada 1975 Sell This Version
6489 018 Esther Phillips Capricorn Princess (Album) Kudu 6489 018 Australia 1976 Sell This Version
KU 73-004 Esther Phillips With Beck* Esther Phillips With Beck* - For All We Know (Album) Kudu KU 73-004 Colombia 1976 Sell This Version
SD 1680 Esther Phillips Confessin' The Blues (Album) Atlantic SD 1680 Canada 1976 Sell This Version
6338 831 Esther Phillips You've Come A Long Way, Baby (Album) Mercury 6338 831 Scandinavia 1977 Sell This Version
SRM-1-3733 Esther Phillips All About (Album) Mercury SRM-1-3733 US 1978 Sell This Version
9100 065 Esther Phillips Here's Esther...Are You Ready (Album) Mercury 9100 065 UK 1979 Sell This Version
SRM-1-4005 Esther Phillips Good Black Is Hard To Crack(LP, Album) Mercury SRM-1-4005 US 1981 Sell This Version
MR 5302 Esther Phillips A Way To Say Goodbye (Album) Muse Records MR 5302 US 1986 Sell This Version
RSC 0007 Esther Phillips The Rising Sun Collection (Album) Just A Memory Records RSC 0007 Germany 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

NX-5555 Esther Phillips Release Me (Single) Lenox Records NX-5555 US 1962 Sell This Version
NX-5565 "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 NX-5565 US 1963 Sell This Version
NX-5570 "Little" Esther Phillips* Why Should We Try Anymore / While It Lasted (Single) Lenox Records NX-5570 US 1963 Sell This Version
EMB S174 Esther Phillips "Little Esther"* Am I That Easy To Forget (Single) Lenox Records EMB S174 UK 1963 Sell This Version