A Sunday Kind Of Love

  • Etta James' debut album yielded the signature hit "At Last" with the bluesy singer rejoicing over finally finding her true love. Another track on the album, "A Sunday Kind Of Love," finds her in the midst of her search. She's over the good time Saturday night flings and wants a real relationship that lasts all week.

    Written by little-known songwriters Anita Leonard and Stan Rhodes in 1946, the song was already a jazz and pop standard by the time James belted her classic rendition. It was first sung by Fran Warren with Claude Thornhill and his Orchestra in 1946 and became a signature tune for the vocalist. It was published through Italian American singer Louis Prima's company, but he agreed to give up publishing rights to the prominent Leeds Music if he and Barbara Belle, one of his managers, were given credit as additional songwriters. Covers from Prima, Jo Stafford, Ella Fitzgerald, The Del Vikings, and Dinah Washington followed but it's most often associated with James.
  • In our 2017 interview with ZZ Ward, the blues rock singer shared her appreciation for James' rendition: "I thought it was so interesting, the dichotomy of her music, because it's such a beautiful song. A lot of singers at that time were singing love ballads, and what she brought to those love ballads was this right-on-the-edge longing for something that she didn't have, and it comes through in her voice. It's really something magical."
  • Plenty more artists covered this after 1960, including Jan & Dean, The Four Seasons, Dion DiMucci, and Reba McEntire.
  • This was used in the 2006 action movie Mission: Impossible III, starring Tom Cruise.
  • A version by the doo-wop group The Harptones was used on the TV series Gotham in the 2014 episode "Viper."


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