Appreciating all that makes America special

Song: "At Last"

The definitive version of At Last was recorded by Etta James in 1960. Uploaded by media.avclub.com.

It’s the 1960 recording by Etta James that makes the list of Great American Things. The song itself has been around since 1941, when Mack Gordon and Harry Warren wrote it for the movie musical Orchestra Wives.

Uploaded by jango.com.

The song became a hit for Glenn Miller (Great American Things, August 27, 2009) in 1942 and Nat King Cole (Great American Things, November 2, 2009) did a great version in the fifties. It had become recognized as a standard, but then — oh, then Etta James included it on her debut album. And we had the definitive version.

Strangely, it never really made much of an impact on the Billboard Top 100, only making it to number 47. It did reach number 2 on the R&B chart, however. Though it’s been covered by dozens of artists ranging from Stevie Wonder to Cyndi Lauper, “At Last” will always be associated with Etta James. It’s her version that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999…

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