The disco era was totally unprepared when Rickie Lee Jones reached No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 with a delectable little coffeehouse-jazz ditty called “Chuck E’s In Love,” and the number of acts with her kind of bohemian credentials to reach the Top 40 ever since can still be counted on one hand. Jones, whose early sponsors included Tom Waits and Little Feat’s Lowell George, immediately established herself as one of the most idiosyncratic singer-songwriters within all of pop music, a reputation she has hardly lived down throughout a career that now numbers 15 albums and songs in as many genres as there are letters in the alphabet. Most recently, the 62-year-old two-time Grammy winner and jazz chanteuse Madeline Peyroux teamed up to raise awareness for women’s rights by recording David Essex’s “Rock On” and the old Casablanca standard “As Time Goes By.”
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