When I hear Etta James‘ long-adored track “At Last,” it’s with fleeting embarrassment that I recall that scene in Pleasantville where protoganist David and his sweetheart Margaret coast down lovers’ lane. The song hums from the couple’s car radio as they watch pink petals, in full color for the first time, rain down from the trees. I see the scene as the perfect cinematic depiction of what Etta embodies, what with her voice’s airy, dramatic lift.
Despite the ebb and flow of her personal life, James’ work has always been a celebrated source of creative inspiration, and these old school album covers should be as well. They feature artwork as captivating as the tunes they protect. That’s what we should be doing as seekers of inspiration and vintage lovers, too — protecting that which provokes nostalgia for loved eras past.
What inspires the soul is priceless, may it be an A-line dress from the ’50s, a sepia photo, or a yesteryear jingle we hum without remembering where we’d first heard it. Who better to inspire such reflections than Ms. James?
May she be your muse as you peruse these fascinating favorites. Take what you will from them, even if it’s just a thought or summer memory of your own.
Timelessness doesn’t get much more elegant than this. What music or movie would you dub most inspiring?