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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Artist

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Albums

LX-227 Release Me! Reflections Of Country And Western Greats — Esther Phillips "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
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8102 And I Love Him — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips And I Love Him (Album) Atlantic 8102 US 1965 Sell This Version
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587010 Esther — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Esther (Album) Atlantic 587010 UK 1966 Sell This Version
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SD 1565 Burnin' (Live At Freddie Jett's Pied Piper, L.A.) — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Burnin' (Live At Freddie Jett's Pied Piper, L.A.) (Album) Atlantic SD 1565 US 1970 Sell This Version
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KU-05 From A Whisper To A Scream — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips From A Whisper To A Scream (Album) Kudu KU-05 US 1971 Sell This Version
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KU-09 Alone Again, Naturally — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Alone Again, Naturally (Album) Kudu KU-09 Germany 1972 Sell This Version
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SR-3352 Black-Eyed Blues — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Black-Eyed Blues (Album) Kudu SR-3352 Japan 1973 Sell This Version
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KUL 12 Performance — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Performance (Album) Kudu, Kudu KUL 12 UK 1974 Sell This Version
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KU-23 What A Diff'rence A Day Makes — Esther Phillips 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
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KU-40003 Capricorn Princess — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Capricorn Princess (Album) Kudu KU-40003 Greece 1976 Sell This Version
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32 KU 28 For All We Know — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips, Joe Beck Esther Phillips, Joe Beck - For All We Know (Album) Kudu 32 KU 28 Italy 1976 Sell This Version
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TP 1680 Confessin' The Blues — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Confessin' The Blues (Album) Atlantic TP 1680 US 1976 Sell This Version
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SRM-1-1187 You've Come A Long Way, Baby — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips You've Come A Long Way, Baby (Album) Mercury SRM-1-1187 Canada 1977 Sell This Version
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6338 885 All About — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips All About (Album) Mercury 6338 885 Italy 1978 Sell This Version
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RJ-7626 Here's Esther...Are You Ready — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Here's Esther...Are You Ready (Album) Mercury, Mercury RJ-7626 Japan 1979 Sell This Version
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SRM-1-4005, 9110 156 Good Black Is Hard To Crack — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Good Black Is Hard To Crack (Album) Mercury, Mercury SRM-1-4005, 9110 156 US 1980 Sell This Version
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MC 5302 A Way To Say Goodbye — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips A Way To Say Goodbye (Album) Muse Records MC 5302 US 1986 Sell This Version
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RSC 0007 The Rising Sun Collection — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips The Rising Sun Collection (Album) Just A Memory RSC 0007 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
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MOA 503 It's A Blues Thing — Esther Phillips Ray Charles With Guest Artist Esther Phillips Ray Charles With Guest Artist Esther Phillips - It's A Blues Thing(CD, Album) Monad Records (2) MOA 503 US 1995 Sell This Version
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N 77047 At Onkel Pö's Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978 — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips At Onkel Pö's Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978 (Album) Jazzline N 77047 Europe 2017 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

NX-5555 Release Me / Don't Feel Rained On — Esther Phillips Esther Phillips Release Me / Don't Feel Rained On (Single) Lenox Records NX-5555 US 1962 Sell This Version
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NX-5565 You Never Miss Your Water (Till The Well Runs Dry) / If You Want It (I've Got It) — Esther Phillips "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
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NX-5577 God Bless The Child Who's Got His Own / A Lover's Hymn — Esther Phillips "Little" Esther Phillips* God Bless The Child Who's Got His Own / A Lover's Hymn (Single) Lenox Records NX-5577 US 1963 Sell This Version
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NX-5575 Why Was I Born / Don't Let Me Go — Esther Phillips "Little Esther'' Phillips* Why Was I Born / Don't Let Me Go (Single) Lenox Records NX-5575 US 1963 Sell This Version
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NX-5570 Why Should We Try Anymore / While It Lasted — Esther Phillips "Little Esther" Phillips* Why Should We Try Anymore / While It Lasted (Single) Lenox Records NX-5570 US 1963 Sell This Version