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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Albums

LX-227 Esther Phillips - Release Me! Reflections Of Country And Western Greats album art "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 art Esther Phillips And I Love Him (Album) Atlantic 8102 US 1965 Sell This Version
587010 Esther Phillips - Esther album art 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 art Esther Phillips Burnin' (Live At Freddie Jett's Pied Piper, L.A.) (Album) Atlantic SD 1565 US 1970 Sell This Version
KU-05 Esther Phillips - From A Whisper To A Scream album art Esther Phillips From A Whisper To A Scream (Album) Kudu KU-05 US 1971 Sell This Version
KU-09 Esther Phillips - Alone Again, Naturally album art Esther Phillips Alone Again, Naturally (Album) Kudu KU-09 New Zealand 1972 Sell This Version
SR-3352 Esther Phillips - Black-Eyed Blues album art Esther Phillips Black-Eyed Blues (Album) Kudu SR-3352 Japan 1973 Sell This Version
KUL 12 Esther Phillips - Performance album art Esther Phillips Performance (Album) Kudu KUL 12 UK 1974 Sell This Version
KU-23 Esther Phillips - What A Diff'rence A Day Makes album art 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
KU-40003 Esther Phillips - Capricorn Princess album art Esther Phillips Capricorn Princess (Album) Kudu KU-40003 Greece 1976 Sell This Version
KU 73-004 Esther Phillips - For All We Know album art Esther Phillips With Beck* Esther Phillips With Beck* - For All We Know (Album) Kudu KU 73-004 Colombia 1976 Sell This Version
TP 1680 Esther Phillips - Confessin' The Blues album art Esther Phillips Confessin' The Blues (Album) Atlantic TP 1680 US 1976 Sell This Version
SRM-1-1187 Esther Phillips - You've Come A Long Way, Baby album art Esther Phillips You've Come A Long Way, Baby (Album) Mercury SRM-1-1187 Canada 1977 Sell This Version
6338 885 Esther Phillips - All About album art Esther Phillips All About (Album) Mercury 6338 885 Italy 1978 Sell This Version
9111 030 Esther Phillips - Here's Esther...Are You Ready album art Esther Phillips Here's Esther...Are You Ready (Album) Mercury, Mercury 9111 030 Italy 1979 Sell This Version
SRM-1-4005, 9110 156 Esther Phillips - Good Black Is Hard To Crack album art Esther Phillips Good Black Is Hard To Crack (Album) Mercury, Mercury SRM-1-4005, 9110 156 US 1980 Sell This Version
50 0039 Esther Phillips - Esther Phillips album art Esther Phillips Esther Phillips(Cass, Album) Musivoz 50 0039 Spain 1981 Sell This Version
MC 5302 Esther Phillips - A Way To Say Goodbye album art Esther Phillips A Way To Say Goodbye (Album) Muse Records MC 5302 US 1986 Sell This Version
RSC 0007 Esther Phillips - The Rising Sun Collection album art Esther Phillips The Rising Sun Collection (Album) Just A Memory RSC 0007 Germany 1995 Sell This Version
MOA 503 Esther Phillips - It's A Blues Thing album art 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
N 77047 Esther Phillips - At Onkel P?'s Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978 album art Esther Phillips At Onkel P?'s Carnegie Hall Hamburg 1978 (Album) Jazzline N 77047 Europe 2017 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

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