Lavelle White: Big Blues


Texas is known for “big” things. Miss Lavelle White, reaching through your soul with her sultry, silky voice – is one of those “big” things! Who would ever believe that this Texas-based singer, influenced by Dinah Washington, once believed that she couldn’t sing and needed to be “taught” to hit the right notes!

Some “big” names obviously disagreed with her. Since the 1950′s, Miss Lavelle White has been an icon on the R & B scene, touring and sharing the stage with performers such as The Johnny Copeland Band, B.B. King, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker, James Brown, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, and the Isley Brothers.

Signed to the Duke/Peacock label in the 1950′s, Miss Lavelle White recorded a series of singles. After many years of writing music, performing in international blues festivals, and headlining blues clubs in Chicago and the south, she was finally able to record her first album – “Miss Lavelle” – at age 65.

While she sings the blues for others to enjoy, she is a self-proclaimed “non-blues singer”- confessing that she enjoys singing country, soul, jazz, funk, gospel, rap and even some hip-hop – for her own pleasure.

Miss Lavelle began her career at age 12 by writing poems and setting them to music, based on the hardships in her life. She can sing with much conviction – as most of her songs were born out of personal experiences.

Inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2006, Miss Lavelle White continues to hold the title of the “Best Blues Act” by The Austin Chronicle. The reigning queen of R & B in Austin, Texas, she is still writing music and singing. Lavelle White’s story can be read in “Women in Texas Music: Stories and Songs” by Kathleen Hudson.

posted in R & B by admin

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