Related Information for Little Esther Esther Mae Jones (December 23, 1935 – August 7, 1984) who performed as Little Esther and as Esther Phillips, was an American singer; she performed in the pop, country, jazz, and rhythm and blues fields, including soul music.Born in Galveston, Texas, she entered an amateur contest in 1949 at Johnny Otis's Barrelhouse Club in Los Angeles. Otis was so impressed that he recorded her for Modern Records and added her, billed as Little Esther, to his travelling revue, the Californi.. read more