Cult Classic: Esther Phillips-What A Diff’rence A Day Makes.

Despite releasing eighteen albums during a career that lasted thirty-five years most people haven’t heard of Esther Phillips. That’s a great shame because she was one of the most talented, versatile and underrated singers of her generation. She possessed a totally unique and unmistakable voice and her versatility allowed her to sing blues, country, jazz, pop and soul. Esther Phillips was a truly versatile vocalist who from an early age seemed destined to make a career out of music.

Esther Mae Jones was born in Galveston, Texas, on December the ‘23rd’ 1935, and when she was growing up her parents divorced. This resulted in her spending part of her time with her mother in the Watts district of Los Angeles and the rest of her time with father in Houston. The church played an important part in the  Esther Mae Jones’ life and she sang in the church choir. That was where her voice developed and by the time she was fourteen she was already a talented vocalist. That was when she saw the advert for a talent contest at a local blues club.

This was the perfect opportunity for Esther Mae Jones. However, she was reluctant to enter the talent contest until her sister encouraged her to do so. Reluctantly, she agreed and entered and won the talent contest at The Barrelhouse which was owned by Johnny Otis. He was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and she joined his traveling revue, the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, where she was billed as Little Esther.

A year later, in 1950, aged just fifteen, Little Esther’s recording career began when she released her debut single Double Crossing Blues which reached number one in the US R&B Charts. This was the first of a number of  successful singles she released on  Savoy with the Johnny Otis Orchestra.

The followup to Double Crossing Blues was Mistrusting Blues a duet with Mel Walker which was released in 1950 and topped the charts for four weeks. However, Little Esther’s third single Misery stalled at number nine in the US R&B charts in 1950. Later that year, she released Cupid’s Boogie and her latest collaboration with the with the Johnny Otis Orchestra resulted in her third number one US R&B single.

Further success came Little Esther’s way during 1950 when Deceivin’ Blues reached number four in the US R&B charts while Wedding Boogie and Far Away Blues (Xmas Blues) both reached number six. Little did the young singer know that she had just enjoyed the most successful year of her career. Never again would she reach the same heights. 

Two years later in 1952, Little Esther released Ring-a-Ding-Doo which reached number eight in the US R&B charts. It was her eight hit single of her short carer. However, it would be another ten years before she enjoyed another hit single.

By the mid-fifties, Little Esther had become addicted to drugs and having to spend time in hospital recovering. After she left recovered and left hospital  money was tight so she had moved back into her father’s house in 1954. To make ends meet, she sang in small nightclubs around the Southern states of America. However, sometimes she relapsed and spent time in a private hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, receiving treatment for her addiction. 

By 1962,  the twenty-seven year old singer was billed as Little Esther Phillips.  She had adopted the name “Phillips” after she saw it on a gas station sign. One night she was singing in a club in Houston where she was spotted by country singer Kenny Rogers. He was so impressed that he helped her get a contract with his brother Lelan’s Lenox Record label. 

This was a new start for Little Esther Phillips and was home for her for the next two years. By 1962, she had overcome her problems and was ready to relaunch her recording career. Her comeback single Release Me produced by Bob Gans, and reached number one in the R&B Charts and reached number eight in the US Billboard 100. It looked like Little Esther Phillips was back.

In 1963, she released  I Really Don’t Want to Know as the followup and it stalled at sixty-one in the US Billboard 100. This must have been a disappointment for Little Esther Phillips after she enjoy. Little did she know that things would get worse before they got better.

Later in 1963, she released Am I That Easy to Forget which failed to trouble the charts. This was another bitter blow for Little Esther Phillips. Things improved when You Never Miss Your Water (Til the Well Runs Dry) reached seventy-three in the US Billboard 100 and gave her a minor hit single. This was a small crumb of comfort and the followup You Want It (I’ve Got It) failed to chart. 1963 had been a difficult year for Little Esther Phillips and she hoped that things would improve in 1964.

It did when she released she signed to Atlantic Records in 1964 and Double Crossing Blues was released as single in March. However, it was the B-Side Hello Walls that reached number thirty-six in the US R&B charts and give Little Esther as she was billed a minor hit single.

This was the perfect way to start her career at one of the biggest and most prestigious American record labels. It was a huge opportunity for Little Esther Phillips. However, when she released Mo Jo Hannah in May 1964 it failed to chart. It was a similar case with It’s Too Soon To Know in September and  Some Things You Never Get Used To in December 1964. Little Esther Phillips must have known that she needed a hit single soon to kickstart her career at Atlantic Records.

In March 1965, Esther Phillips as she was now billed released a cover of The Beatles song And I Love Him as a single. It reached number forty-four in the US Billboard 100 and eleven in the R&B Charts, and this resulted in The Beatles bringing Esther Phillips over to the UK, which were she gave her first overseas concerts. It looked like she was on the verge of commercial success and critical acclaim.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. When Moonglow and Theme From Picnic was released as the followup to And I Love Him in July of 1965 it failed to trouble the chart. It was a similar case with Esther Phillips’ debut album  And I Love Him which was released in 1965. This many people thought was just a blip but sadly that wasn’t the case.

A year later, in 1966, Esther Phillips enjoyed a minor hit with When A Woman Loves A Man which reached seventy-three in the US Billboard 100 and twenty-six in the US R&B charts. She also released two albums Esther and The Country Side of Esther Phillips on Atlantic Records but neither album charted. This was a huge disappointment was The Country Side of Esther Phillips was one of the finest albums of her career.

The Country Side of Esther Phillips.

The Country Side of Esther Phillips was very different to her debut album and showcased another side of her music. Esther Phillips was better known for singing soul and R&B but seamlessly she switched to country music on her sophomore album. So much so, that it sounded as if she was born to sing country music.

Tracks like I Really Don’t Want To Know, Be Honest With Me,  I’ve Forgotten More Than You’ll Ever Know and No Headstone On My Grave came to life in Esther Phillips’ hands. When critics heard The Country Side of Esther Phillips it was hailed the finest of her career so far. However, on its release the album failed to chart. Things weren’t looking good for Esther.


Sadly after the release of The Country Side Of Esther Phillips in 1966, the thirty-one year old never released another studio album on Atlantic Records. As the sixties progressed, Esther Phillips’ earlier drug problem resurfaced and she’d to enter rehab again. Whilst in rehab, she met Sam Fletcher which would later prove fortunate.

As she was recovering from her drug addiction, she released some singles for the Roulette label in 1969. After that, she re-signed to Atlantic Records and released the live album Burnin’ which was a recording of a 1969 concert at Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper Club. 

Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, LA) 

Three years after she’d left Atlantic Records, Esther Phillips she signed to a new contract. This turned out to be just a short stay and she never entered Atlantic Records’ studio. Instead, she released a live album Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, LA).

On Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, LA), Esther Phillips works her way through eight tracks. They’re tailor made for her and she showcase her versatility and her ability to make lyrics come to life. This is apparent from the opening track a cover of Aretha Franklin and Ted White’s Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream. She follows this up with a heartfelt, soul-baring take on Lennon and McCartney’s And I Love Him. Cry Me A River Blues is transformed as she delivers a vocal powerhouse. There’s no stopping her now and Makin’ Whoopee takes on a sassy, jazz-tinged sound, as Esther Phillips  swings and kicks loose. If It’s The Last Thing I Do features a wistful and pensive vocal and it’s a beautiful cover. The same can be said of her reading of Please Send Me Someone To Love which features a needy, hopeful vocal as her band fuse blues and jazz. That’s the perfect way to close Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, LA), which was the perfect showcase for Esther Phillips. 

When Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, LA) was released it was to widespread critical acclaim. It also reached number 115 in the US Billboard 200 charts and number seven in the US R&B charts. Ironically, Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, L.A.) was Esther Phillips’ Atlantic Records’ swan-song. A new chapter in the Esther Phillips story was about to unfold.


The following year 1970, Johnny Otis who had discovered Esther Phillips reentered her life. She performed with The Johnny Otis Show at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival and this allowed  her music to be heard by a much wider audience. Maybe her luck was changing?

That proved to be the case. In 1971, Esther Phillips signed to Kudu/CTi and began what was the most successful period of her career. This started with her  Kudu/CTi debut was From A Whisper To A Scream.

From A Whisper To A Scream.

By 1971, Esther Phillips had been through several labels and still hadn’t found a label she could call home. That was until 1971 when she signed to Kudu/CTi. She was hot property after the release of Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, L.A.) which showed what she was capable of. The only problem was her private life and if she could stay free of drugs. If she could,  the sky was the limit for her.

Executives at Kudu/CTi realised this and knew that Esther Phillips was capable of becoming one of the biggest names in soul, jazz and R&B. By 1971, she was in a good place and great things were expected of her at Kudu/CTi when she began work on her label debut From A Whisper To A Scream.

Time was spent choosing songs that suited Esther Phillips and played to her strengths, her inimitable voice. It was a voice that sounded like it lived a thousand lives. This made it perfect for songs like Gil Scott-Heron’s Home Is Where The Hatred Is, Allen Toussaint’s From A Whisper To A Scream and That’s All Right With Me. They sounded as if they’d been written especially for Esther Phillips. Along with six another tracks they were recorded at  Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey by an all-star band.

Creed Taylor was brought in to produce From A Whisper To A Scream while Pee Wee Ellis arranged the tracks and conduct the band. It included  some of the top jazz and funk musicians of the day. This included a rhythm section of drummer Pretty Purdie, bassist Gordon Edwards and guitarists Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale. They were joined by organist and pianist Richard Tee and Dick Griffin, who was part of a horn and string section. Along with backing vocalists, they accompanied Esther on From A Whisper To A Scream. It was released in 1972.

When  From A Whisper To A Scream was release it was to critical acclaim and Esther Phillips picked up where she left off on  Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, L.A.). It  reached number 137 in the US Billboard 200 and  sixteen on the US R&B charts. Things were about to get even better for Esther Phillips.

Later, Set Me Free from the album From A Whisper To A Scream was nominated for a Grammy Award, but Aretha Franklin won the award. Ironically, the Queen of Soul thought Esther deserved to win and presented Esther Phillips with the award.  This was the start of one of the most successful periods of  her career.


Alone Again, (Naturally). 

Later in 1972, and buoyed by the success of From A Whisper To A Scream Esther Phillips released Alone Again, (Naturally). This was her second album for Kudu/CTi. Again,  the album was produced by Creed Taylor and  everything was put in place for Esther Phillips. This included the songs that suited her and a a band of top musicians that were about to accompany her.

Among the songs chosen for Alone Again, (Naturally), Use Me, where Esther Phillips was at her sassiest. Ballads Let Me In Your Life and I’ve Never Found A Man (To Love Me Like You Do) showcases Esther’s soulful side and allow her to live lyrics. She sounds as if she’s experienced the loneliness and emotion she sings about. On Alone Again (Naturally), a despondency in her vocal as she unleashes a cathartic outpouring of sadness and pain. Then during Esther Phillips’ cover of Do Right Woman, Do Right Man she gives the song a new twist, before closing Alone Again, (Naturally) with her take on Alone Again, (Naturally) where she’s accompanied by band of top musicians.

This includes many of the same musicians that featured on From A Whisper To A Scream. This included a drummer Pretty Purdie, bassist Gordon Edwards and guitarists Cornell Dupree and Eric Gale. Bassist Ron Carter, drummer Billy Cobham and guitarist George Benson were brought onboard. Organist and pianist Richard Tee also returned. He was joined by percussionist Ralph MacDonald and Maceo Parker, who was part of the horn section that featured on Alone Again, (Naturally). It was produced by Creed Taylor, and released later in 1972.

On its release in 1972, Alone Again, (Naturally) was well received by critics.  No wonder as the album featured some of the best musicians of the seventies. They provided the perfect backdrop for Esther Phillips as she combined elements of blues, funk,R&B and soul  on another critically acclaimed album. It reached number 177 in the US Billboard 200 charts and number fifteen in the US R&B charts. Esther Phillips’ career it seemed, was entering a golden period. Especially when Alone Again Naturally was nominated for a Grammy Award.


Black-Eyed Blues,

After releasing two albums in 1972, Esther Phillips returned in 1973, with Black-Eyed Blues which was produced by Creed Taylor, with Pee Wee Ellis arranging and conducting. Just like her two previous albums, recording took place at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, in New Jersey where the six tracks were recorded. They were a compelling collection of tracks.

Just like her two previous albums, a lot of thought went into the tracks on Black-Eyed Blues. This included Bill Withers’ Justified, Carolyn Plummer’s I’ve Only Known A Stranger, Carolyn Franklin’s and Leonard Feather’s You Could Have Had Me, Baby. The other two tracks were covers of Duke Ellington and Paul Webster’s I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good and Chris Stainton and Joe Cocker’s Black-Eyed Blues. These six tracks were recorded by a new band.

Unlike her two previous albums, Black-Eyed Blues featured a very different band. The rhythm section featured drummer Ian Wallace, guitarist Charlie Brown and bassists Boz and Ron Carter. Pianist Tim Hinkley and percussionist Arthur Jenkins were joined by backing vocalists plus a horn and string section. They accompanied Esther Phillips on her third album for Kudu/CTi, Black-Eyed Blues.

When Black-Eyed Blues was released in 1973, it was well received by critics. They were won over by this compelling mixture of ballads and uptempo tracks. Esther Phillips was at her best laying bare her soul during wistful, heartfelt ballads and then she kicked loose on the uptempo numbers. Accompanied by a tight, talented band, musical genres melted into one. Jazz, funk, R&B and soul combine throughout Black-Eyed Blues which reached number seventeen in the US R&B charts. For Esther Phillips this was a disappointment.

Ever since the release of  Burnin’ (Live At Freddie Jett’s Pied Piper, L.A.), every Esther Phillips’ album entered the US Billboard 200 charts. Not Black-Eyed Blues despite its undoubted quality. The album seemed to pass many people by and as a result, it’s one of the hidden gems in Esther Phillips’ discography. However, back in 1973, Esther Phillips must have wondered if  Black-Eyed Blues failure to enter the US Billboard 200 charts, was merely a blip or was her luck changing?



After Black-Eyed Blues failed to enter the US Billboard 200 charts, everyone at Kudu/CTi began working towards getting Esther Phillips’ career back on track. Producer Creed Taylor along with associate producers Eugene McDaniels and Pee Wee Ellis put together an all-star band. A great deal of care had gone into choosing the seven songs they would record with Esther Phillips. They were seen as tailor made for her.

The seven songs on Performance were another compelling collection of tracks. Esther Phillips drops the tempo and delivers a slow, sultry, take on I Feel The Same. The title track Performance, is another slow, melancholy track and is a reminder that she was a talented songwriter. Sadly, that’s often overlooked. Esther Phillips then gets funky and sassy on Doing Our ThingEugene McDaniels’ Disposable Society is another song full of social comment. She then nails a vocal that’s slow, feisty and funky and she seems to be relishing the opportunity to reflect on the way society is heading. Living Alone (We’re Gonna Make It) is a beautiful ballad, where Esther Phillips is at her melancholy, thoughtful best. Then she romps her way through Dr. John’s Such A Night. Living Alone (We’re Gonna Make It) heads in  the direction of gospel while Isaac Hayes and David Porter’s Can’t Trust Your Neighbour With Your Baby oozes social comment and is a reflection of American society circa 1974. During the seven tracks on Performance, Esther releases a series of vocal masterclasses and she’s aided and abetted by an all-star band of session musicians.

This includes a rhythm section of drummer Pretty Purdie and Steve Gadd, bassists Gordon Edwards and guitarists Eric Weissberg, Jon Sholle and  Charlie Brown. They’re joined by percussionist Pee Wee Ellis, flautist Hubert Laws and pianists Bob James, Richard Tee and Richard Wyands. Patti Austin and Deniece Williams were among the backing vocalists that joined the string and horn section on Performance. It was released in 1974.

Later in 1974, Performance was released to widespread critical acclaim. Performance featured Esther at her best, as she combined ballads and uptempo tracks. Accompanied by a crack band, Performance was without doubt one of Esther Phillips’ best albums. Sadly, it stalled at just number forty-six in the US R&B charts and for Esther Phillips and everyone at Kudu/CTi, this was hugely disappointing. Performance should’ve fared much better. However, this was a sign of  the direction Esther Phillips’ career was heading.


What A Diff’rence A Day Makes.

After the disappointment of 1974s Performance Esther Phillips joined forces with Joe Beck to record What A Diff’rence A Day Makes. This executives at Kudu/CTi hoped would kickstart her career. Just like previous albums, a great deal of care was taken choosing the songs for the album.

By the time work began on What A Diff’rence A Day Makes, disco was growing in popularity and Esther Phillips like a number of other soul singers would record disco tracks between 1975 and 1979. This it was was hoped would introduce their music to a new and wider audience. That was the hopes of Esther Phillips and executives at Kudu/CTi as work began on What A Diff’rence A Day Makes.

Eight tracks were chosen for including Gamble and Huff’s One Night Affair, Maria Grever and Stanley Adams’ What A Diff’rence A Day Makes, Ralph MacDonald and William Salter’s Mister Magic plus Brenda Harris’ You’re Coming Home. They were joined by Jim Price’s I Can Stand A Little Rain, Lu Emerson’s Hurtin’ House, David Nichtern’s Oh Papa and Jerry Capehart’s Turn Around, Look At Me. These tracks were recorded by Esther Phillips and an all-star band.

Recording took place at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, in New Jersey during April 1975. The rhythm section featured drummer Chris Parker, bassist Will Lee and rhythm guitarist Steve Khan. Lead guitarist Steve Beck arranged the album and was joined by Eric Weissberg on pedal steel guitar, keyboardist Don Grolnick, percussionist Ralph McDonald plus a string and horn section. Creed Taylor took charge of production on What a Diff’rence A Day Makes which marked a stylistic departure for Esther Phillips.

She toyed with disco during What A Diff’rence A Day Makes. In doing so, Creed Taylor transformed Esther Phillips into a  strutting disco diva during parts of the album. However, she hadn’t turned her back on soul and R&B on What A Difference A Day which features elements of jazz and funk. 

Opening What A Difference A Day Makes is One Night Affair where Esther Phillips unleashes a soulful vocal powerhouse against Joe Beck’s pulsating dancefloor friendly arrangement. He combines rocky guitars, dancing strings, blazing horns and  rhythm section who take the arrangement to 127 disco heaven. In doing so, the reinvention of Esther Phillips begins.

This continues on What A Diff’rence A Day Makes where a brief breathy and sensuous vamp precedes Esther Phillips soulful and sassy vocal. Soon, the all-star band are combining disco, funk and jazz. Meanwhile, the rhythm section and percussion power the arrangement along as strings sweep and swirl as a saxophone accompanies the breathy vamp. They drops out when a rocky guitar takes centrestage before the vocal returns and is replaced by a searing guitar and the vamp on a track that would transform Esther Phillips into a strutting disco diva.

The tempo drops on Mister Magic and initially the arrangement is underrated as a chiming guitar, shimmering keyboard and braying horns accompany the galloping rhythm section. Meanwhile the vocal is needy and full of longing as a searing, scorching guitar that’s a trademark of the album and drifts in and  out. It’s part of this soulful, funky dancer with rocky guitars.

You’re Coming Home is a slower track and the searing rocky guitar and soaring horns set the scene for her vocal. It’s emotive and needy as she sings “I’ll sit here waiting for the phone to ring and say You’re Coming Home.” Meanwhile, keyboards join  the rhythm section who provide the heartbeat accompany and horns punctuate the arrangement as  Esther Phillips makes a welcome return to her more familiar soulful side.

I Can Stand a Little Rain is another of the soulful sides on the album. A weeping pedal steel combines with a peal of thunder before Esther Phillips’ vocal veers between heartfelt, rueful before growing in power as the horns and the keyboards join the atmospheric arrangement. After a clap of thunder, horns soar above the arrangement and a blistering guitar accompanies one of the most soulful and impassioned vocals on the album.

Understated describes the introduction to Hurtin’ House as chiming guitars combine with bursts of trailing horns and the rhythm section. Then Esther Phillips unleashes a sassy and sometimes soul-baring vocal. Just like previous tracks the horns play an important role and sometimes sound like those on David Bowie’s Fame which was recorded in July 1975. Meanwhile, funk, R&B and soul are being combined by Esther Phillips and her all-star band on what’s one of the oft-overlooked tracks on the album.

Atmospheric with a country influence describes the introduction to the ballad Oh Papa. The rhythm section combine with the pedal steel and Hammond organ as Esther Phillips delivers a tender, emotive vocal. Later, the horns enter and it’s then  it’s all change as horns march and strings sweep adding a degree of drama. When they drop out, they’re replaced by the pedal steel and the understated country sound makes a welcome returns and proves the perfect foil for Esther Phillips pensive vocal. 

The band drop the tempo on Turn Around, Look At Me closes What a Diff’rence A Day Makes and a pedal steel weeps and adds a country influence. Meanwhile, Esther Phillips combines country, gospel and soul while the band create an understated backdrop. When her vocal drops out it’s replaced by Joe Beck’s guitar which proves the perfect replacement. Then when the vocal returns the pedal steel accompanies Esther Phillips on what’s one of the  most beautiful songs on the album. 

When What A Difference A Day Makes was released it reached thirty-two in the US Billboard 200 and thirteen in the US R&B charts. The album crept into the Australian charts at ninety-nine. However, back home What A Diff’rence A Day Makes was released as a single and reached number twenty in the US Billboard 100, ten in the US R&B charts and number one single in the disco charts in 1975. In Australia the single reached thirty-eight and six in the UK. However, there was more good news when What A Diff’rence A Day Makes was nominated for the Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance–Female. Esther Phillips career was back on track.

During 1976, she released two albums including Capricorn Princess  which reached number twenty-three in the US R&B charts. Later that year, Esther Phillips released For All We Know was Kudu/CTi which stalled at  number thirty-two in  the US R&B charts. Not long after this she left Kudu/CTi and signed to Mercury Records where she released four albums.

The first was 1977’s You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby which failed to chart. So did All About Esther Phillips when it was released in 1978. Her next album was Here’s Esther, Are You Ready in 1979 which reached forty-seven in the US R&B charts. Two year later in 1981, A Good Black Is Hard To Crack was released by Mercury but failed to chart. Little did anyone know that it was the final album released in Esther Phillips’ lifetime.

She recorded one final album in 1984, A Good Way To Say Goodbye, which was released in 1986. Not long after completing what was her swansong, sadly, Esther Phillips died August the ‘7th’ 1984, from liver and kidney failure, caused by drug use.

Johnny Otis, the man who discovered Esther Phillip conducted her funeral service which was held in Los Angeles. Since Esther’s death, her albums has been reissued. This includes What A Diff’rence A Day Makes which was recently reissued by Music On Vinyl.  It shows the different sides one of the most underrated singers of her generation, Esther Phillips. 

Arranger Joe Beck and producer Creed Taylor transformed Esther Phillips into a disco diva on parts of What A Diff’rence A Day Makes. Other times she returns to her familiar soulful sound and sometimes she takes the album in the direction of country, gospel and R&B. What A Diff’rence A Day Makes was very different album and to the previous albums she had released on Kudu/CTi and featured element of funk, jazz and rock. It succeeded in rejuvenating Esther Phillips’ career and resulted in her fourth Grammy nomination. Despite that she was was unknown by most record buyers.

During a career that lasted thirty-five years, Esther Phillips’ music passed most people by. Many record buyers were unaware that she was one of the most talented, versatile and underrated female vocalists of her generation. Esther Phillips possessed a totally unique voice and  was able to breath life, meaning and emotion into lyrics. Whether it was blues, country, jazz, pop, soul or disco she made music come alive and was a truly versatile vocalist whose career spanned thirty-five years. However, Esther’s career should’ve lasted longer. Sadly, that wasn’t to be.

Esther Phillips struggled throughout her life with drug addiction and  this interrupted her time at Atlantic Records. As a result,  she never had the opportunity to fulfil her potential and if things had been different, Esther Phillips could’ve and should’ve become one of the most successful singers of her generation. Sadly, that wasn’t to be. Esther Phillips died thirty-six years ago, in 1984  was just forty-eight but left behind a rich musical legacy, that includes What A Diff’rence A Day Makes the album that rejuvenated her career and resulted in her fourth Grammy Award nomination.

Cult Classic: Esther Phillips-What A Diff’rence A Day Makes.

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