Arts center to celebrate legendary singer Etta James

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The USCB Center for the Arts will host a musical tribute to the legendary three-time Grammy winner Etta James at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 22.

Dr. Marlena Smalls, world renowned singer, entertainer, educator and actress, will perform many of James’ hits, including her signature hit, “At Last.”

Smalls will perform other James’ classic tunes such as “All I Could Do is Cry, “Something Has a Hold on Me” and “Don’t Lose Your Good Thing.” She will be backed up by Velma Polk and Elaine Lake, who are know for their phenomenal three-part harmonies.

The Lowcountry Jazz Band, under the direction of David Hershey, will provide the big band sound.

James was not easy to pigeonhole.  In fact, she is in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Hall of Fame. She was a soul pioneer who had her share of hard times and emerged a survivor. She is most often referred to as a rhythm and blues singer, and that is how she made her name in the 1950s with records like “Good Rockin’ Daddy.”

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors/military and $15 for students.

Tickets are on sale online at or by calling the box office 843-521-4145.