Sunday, March 16, 2008
Check out this lady's music on her MySpace
Born in Duluth, GA, just northeast of Atlanta, Betty Echols Journey grew up listening to gospel music. (Her mother's singing in church influenced her.) Aspiring to become a singer herself, Betty began singing at parties at her friends' homes. In the mid 1980's, she was introduced to legendary saxophonist, Grady "Fats" Jackson. Jackson was so impressed with Betty's vocals that he began bringing her with him to his performances. It was through Jackson that Betty met former Muddy Waters guitarist, "Steady Rollin" Bob Margolin. Margolin and his band, upon passing thought the southern region of the United States in the early 1990's would regularly perform with Jackson and Betty in such places as Jackson Station nightclub in Hodges, South Carolina and Blind Willie's or Blues Harbor in Atlanta, GA.
In 1993, Jackson and Betty's music collaboration would land them a cameo appearance in the movie "Simple Twist of Fate", starring Steve Martin.
Upon the untimely death of Jackson on January 17, 1994, the future of Betty;s singing career appeared uncertain until Margolin invited her to sing on his 1997 release "Up and In". You can hear Betty's vocal work on the laid-back sax driven Grady "Fats" Jackson tune, Coffee Break.
Betty's popularity continues to grow as evidenced by her demand from European audiences. Her resume includes past performances in Greece, Germany, Israel, Italy, France, and Switzerland. She has worked with artists as Percy Sledge, Taj Mahal, Magic Slim, Kenny Neal, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Larry Garner and John Primer. Closer to home, you can often find Betty performing with Tommy Brown, The Shadows, The Breeze Kings and long time Georgia musicians and friends Albert White, Roy Lee Johnson and Beverly "Guitar" Watkins, all former guitarists with the legendary Atlanta blues pianist, Piano Red.