Lavelle White
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Lavelle White


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The best kept secret in music


"Miss Lavelle White"

Miss Lavelle White

R & B veteran, Miss Lavelle White enjoyed a successful career for almost 30 years before she recorded her first album. There were many singles and many spots on other's albums, but the 1994 Miss Lavelle for Antone's Records was her solo debut.

In 2003, she released Into the Mystic, again on the Antone's label. Into the Mystic is a blues powerhouse album, and Miss Lavelle White's voice is stronger than ever. She sings with an energy and youthfulness that belie her years behind the microphone, but there is no hiding the true blues-professionalism of her delivery. She's a marvel and a wonder.

It Haven't Been Easy came out in 1997 and was so successful that Lavelle White traveled all over the country appearing in clubs and blues festivals as a result of its release.

She has received four nominations for the W.C. Handy Awards, been inducted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame, been named Blues Artist of the Year in Houston. Born in Louisiana, White has lived in Austin, Houston, Chicago and most recently is back in Austin. She was here when Antone's was getting its start and sang with Lou Ann Barton, Angela Strehli and others in the night club's early days. A prolific songwriter, her songs have been recorded by many others, including Bobby "Blue" Bland. Country Music Journal commented that her songs, "already sound like classics; they're so inevitable, pure and well-written in the classic timeless style, that it's hard to believe they weren't penned two or three decades ago."

Featuring many of her own songs, Miss Lavelle demonstrates Lavelle White's roots in the blues, gospel, funk and R & B.

Her career began in the 50s, but she just keeps getting better. The Detroit Blues said in 1997, "This woman is just hitting her peak."

Contact the Nancy Fly Agency at (512) 288-2023 for bookings.

Check for Miss Lavelle White on Amazon. Also search to see if they carry three compilation albums featuring Lavelle White: Antone's 20th Anniversary, Essential Women in Blues, and the soundtrack from Deep in the Heart of Texas. You can find them by searching on the album titles. - Music Austin

"Lavelle White"

Lavelle White began performing in Houston clubs in the 1950's with the Johnny Copeland Band. Scouted by Don Robey of Duke-Peacock Records, she was signed to that label and cut her first sides with Duke in 1958. She consequently had several regional hits, including "Stop Those Teardrops", featuring Dr. John on piano, and "Yes, I've Been Crying." In all, she recorded nearly a dozen sides for Duke; she also wrote "Lead Me On" for Bobby "Blue" Bland. White also toured nationally throughout the '50's and '60's as an opening act or supporting act for numerous R&B packages, which included B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Sam Cooke, Gene Chandler, Gladys Knight & The Pips, the Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson. After her recording career ended at Duke in 1964, she continued working clubs in Texas and the south, including stints with famed Arkansas guitarist Lary Davis. She left Houston in the late 70's and moved to Chicago, where she beacame the headliner at the famed blues club the Kingston Mines from 1978 -1987. While in Chicago she worked with such notables as Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy and Lonnie Brooks. She returned to Houston in 1988 and once again began working the clubs, including Antone's in Austin. She has since been voted Houstons Blues Artist Of The Year, and recieved three French Academy Awards, including the Bill Broonzy Award and the Charlie Cross Academy award by President George Mitterand for her talent and contribution the the blues. 1994, she recorded her first full album, Miss Lavelle, on Antone's Records and it was voted one of the best blues albums of the year. She recieved three W.C. Handy Award nominations in May 1995, including Artist of the Year. The long hard years of hard work have finally paid off for Lavelle White, as she has finally begun to recieve the recogniztion deserving of her talent. - Texas Music Group Web Site

"Texas Soul Sisters"

Lavelle White's third album for the Antone's label asks why she isn't as revered as some of Texas' other famous female vocalists. Into the Mystic gathers a dozen old favorites from disparate sources such as the Box Tops ("Soul Deep"), Merle Haggard ("Today I Started Loving You"), and the Edwin Hawkins Singers ("Oh Happy Day") and mixes in five of the Austin blues belter's own soulful compositions. "Livin' for the City" takes the Stevie Wonder hit and redesigns it for White's gutbucket vocals and Guy Forsyth's wicked guitar, while her timely "Computer Blues" isn't far behind on mojo. On an album packed with stellar local players, White and her magnificent voice are the stars. She's one of four Texas ladies spotlighted on Texas Soul Sisters, along with Houston's Gloria Edwards, East Texas' Miss Candy, and Austin's Glenda Hargis. Rather than pitting the ladies in a singing match, TSS samples each of their styles. These are big voices tackling traditional shuffles, ballads, and funkified blues. White's smoky vocals wrap around "Bad Song" and "I Want to Know," and where there's smoke, Edwards fires up "H-Town" and "I'm Your Hoochie Mama." Miss Candy loosens sultry back porch vocals on "That's Why I Love You," but it's the relatively unknown Glenda Hargis who shines. Sister of local guitarist Matthew Robinson, Hargis is 200% soul on "Rain Down Love" and "Keep Your Hands Off of Him." This pair of releases might not be the hippest out there, but they are the very heart of Texas' great heritage of R&B.
(Both) - Austin Chronicle

"Miss Lavelle White and Delbert McClinton"

Roadhouse bluesman Delbert McClinton and captivating chanteuse Miss Lavelle White delivered their own danceable brands of rhythm'n'blues on Austin City Limits' "Blues Night" in Season 22.

One of the most respected and hardest-working entertainers in the music industry, Delbert McClinton delivered his savory blend of roadhouse rock and blues. The title of his album, One of the Fortunate Few, sums up his influence on and reputation in the popular music industry.

For both his album and his Austin City Limits performance, McClinton recruited a handful of special guests including Lyle Lovett, Lee Roy Parnell and Jonell Mosser.

Parnell lent his fiery slide guitar licks to McClinton rockers such as "Leap of Faith" and "Roll of the Dice." Lovett chimed in with Parnell for the comic "Too Much Stuff." "I can't think of a better place to showcase this new music than Austin City Limits," McClinton said.

"This is the best TV show there is for music," he said.

Miss. Lavelle White put on a stunning show harking back to some of her all time favorites and adding in a few new tunes.

"I think music has reached greater heights for me now," White said. "It's got a different flavor now and it's a great thing. I love the newness of my music it's got more of a spicy feeling now, a little more spicy lyrics. I'm not just doing slow stuff. It's got a better beat now.

"It's for everybody young and old. I like to call this music my 'new wave disco' thing, it's something I invented. It's like disco but not the disco from back when.I didn't want to do it the old way. We changed the beat and now it's more dancy, spicy."

On Austin City Limits she dazzled and delighted the audience with her unique brand of "new wave disco" laced with a heavy dose of soul and blues.

Her evocative, inimitable singing style and tremendous songwriting talent clearly set her apart from her peers in songs such as "Voodoo Man," "Mississippi" and "Wootie Boogie."

Miss Lavelle White

"Voodoo Man"
"Wootie Boogie"
"Go to the Mirror"
"I Never Found a Man"
Recorded: 02/24/1997 - Austin City Limits Website


Into the Mystic
It Haven't Been Easy
Miss Lavelle


Feeling a bit camera shy


In 1994, Miss Lavelle White's long-overdue debut for Antone's/Discovery Records, Miss Lavelle, trumpeted the triumphant return of one of the most captivating chanteuses in the history of Texas rhythm and blues. Now the lady is back with her eagerly awaited Antone's encore, It Haven't Been Easy. The disc was recorded with such rock-solid Antone's regulars as guitarist Derek O'Brien, saxman supreme Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff, and drummer George Rains in staunch support.
"I think the new album is great. We've got some great people on it," Lavelle says. "It all came out really good. It's different from the other album. It's not as much of a blues thing. It's bluesy, but it's more dance stuff. It's got real good lyrics, but it's dance stuff."

Like Miss Lavelle, the new set showcases White's prolific songwriting talents in addition to her seductive voice. "I write all the time," she says. "Sometimes I might skip four or five months before I write, and then I sit down and write a whole month."

Lavelle finds songwriting inspiration even in the most mundane necessities. "You can find it anywhere if you look for it," she says. "Some people don't understand that. But inspiration is in trees and birds and bees and ground, land, grass--everything! It's simple. It could be in a pillow, an umbrella, a suitcase, a TV, a lamp in the house, a chair. It can be in a mirror, like I wrote 'Go To The Mirror' (one of the many standout cuts on Miss Lavelle). It could be the curtains hanging on the window, the blinds. Anything like that. You gotta think fast, though. You gotta be thinking about what you're doing.

Along with all the tasty new originals flowing from Lavelle's pen, It Haven't Been Easy sports a handful of well-chosen covers. "I did this old tune that Earl King and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson did, 'Those Lonely, Lonely Nights,'" she says. "The I did O.V. Wright's 'Don't Let My Baby Ride.' And I covered (Eddie Floyd's) 'I've Never Found A Girl.' But I said, 'I've Never Found A Man.'"

It Haven't Been Easy is another happy reunion for Miss Lavelle with Texas guitar wizard Clarence Hollimon, who added his vicious licks to many of Bobby "Blue" Bland's early waxings for Houston's Duke Records (more recently, Hollimon has cut two fine CDs for Black Top with his wife, singer Carol Fran). "He is a great guitarist," says Lavelle. He is wonderful. He's gotten better. He was great then, but he is greater now."

Clarence and his piano-playing brother Sweets were among Lavelle's earliest musical cohorts on the swinging 1950s Houston blues circuit. The Amite, Louisiana-born White moved to Houston when she was 15 and was singing in local nightclubs with Hollimon by the time she was 21.

Another Houston guitar master, Johnny Copeland, was responsible for getting Lavelle her first recording contract in 1958. "I was working with him at the time I wrote "If (I Could Be With You),'" she recalls. "He liked the song so much, he said, 'Well, I tell you what I'm gonna do. Let's tape it.'"

Duke Records boss Don Robey was suitably impressed with the results to sign "Miss La-Vell" (as she was billed on her early 45s) to a contract. She remained with the label into 1964, cutting such Gulf Coast gems "Yes I've Been Crying" (redone on Miss Lavelle), "Stop These Teardrops" (originally done in New Orleans with Dr. John on Piano), and the sassy "Why Young Men Go Wild."

"Everybody seems to like that," she says of the last tune. "That's a silly song. It's about these guys outside of my apartment fighting." Why were they arguing? "I don't know!" she exclaims. "I wasn't going down there. But they was having a ball!" It Haven't Been Easy also boasts a remake of one of Lavelle's Duke sides, "You're The Most."

Lavelle toured extensively with her Duke labelmates Bobby Bland and Junior Parker. "It was great," she says. "Junior was one of the nicest persons. I never did get a chance to get to Bobby too much. We was on the show, but there was like four or five more acts. He was the head of the show. So I Never got the chance to really get to talk to him too much, like I did Junior."

Incidentally, Lavelle wrote "Lead Me On" for Bland, and it became a Top 10 R&B hit for him in 1960. But you won't find her listed as writer on Bland's Duke 45; instead, Robey's nom de plume, Deadric Malone, is credited. "I sold it to Robey," she says. "I was young then. I didn't care."

Bland and Parker weren't the only R&B superstars to share a stagebill with Lavelle during the 1960s. She crossed paths with the legendary Sam Cooke and Otis Redding as well. "They were great people," she reminisces. "Otis Redding was just as nice and mellow, just like a little lamb. Sam, he was rowdy and friendly. He got around. He was a wonderful guy, too. I toured with Jerry Butler, the Drifters, the Isley Brothers, James Brown. I was on a show in Hollywood at the Palladium with Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and a lo