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“Amazing! An amazing experience. What’s strange is, I played on her album Seven Year Itch, and then on her follow-up, Stickin’ To My Guns, she recorded one of my songs, Cry Like A Rainy Day, but I didn’t play on that.
“Working with Etta James was definitely a highlight for me. She was getting on in years by the time I worked with her, and of course she had a history of drug addiction. But when you sat and talked with her, all of that stuff just disappeared. She was the nicest person in the world. Smart, too. I think she was a very smart lady with a lot of demons.
“Barry Beckett was the producer on the records, and he was a huge influence on me. He influenced anybody who was ever in the studio with him. He was a Muscle Shoals guy, so working with him was very educational.
“And Steve Cropper, too! Oh, man, I was scared to death. This was before I really broke into the scene, and there I am with Steve Cropper. What do they need me for, you know?”