Denise LaSalle

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Denise LaSalle
Denise-LaSalle-2009-Monterey.jpg
Denise LaSalle performing at the 2009 Monterey Blues Festival.
Background information
Birth nameOra Denise Allen
Also known asDenise Craig, Denise Jones
Born(1939-07-16) July 16, 1939 (age 74)
OriginHumphreys County, Mississippi, United States
GenresSoul, disco, blues, R&B
Years active1967–present
WebsiteOfficial site
 
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Denise LaSalle
Denise-LaSalle-2009-Monterey.jpg
Denise LaSalle performing at the 2009 Monterey Blues Festival.
Background information
Birth nameOra Denise Allen
Also known asDenise Craig, Denise Jones
Born(1939-07-16) July 16, 1939 (age 74)
OriginHumphreys County, Mississippi, United States
GenresSoul, disco, blues, R&B
Years active1967–present
WebsiteOfficial site

Ora Denise Allen (born July 16, 1939, Belzoni, Mississippi, United States),[1] known by the stage name Denise LaSalle, is an American blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter, and record producer.

Career[edit]

Born near Sidon, Mississippi[2] and raised in Belzoni, she sang in local churches before moving to Chicago in the early 1960s. She sat in with R&B musicians and wrote songs, influenced by country music as well as the blues, before winning a recording contract with Chess Records in 1967. Her first single, "A Love Reputation" was a modest regional hit.[3]

After establishing an independent production company, Crajon, with her then husband Bill Jones,[3] her first major success came in 1971 when her self-penned song, "Trapped By A Thing Called Love" was released on Detroit-based Westbound Records. This reached #1 on the national R&B chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song ranked at #85 on the 1971 year-end chart. The RIAA gold disc award was made on 30 November 1971 for a million sales.[4]

She also wrote successful follow-ups, "Now Run And Tell That" and "Man Sized Job" which made #3 and #4 in the R&B Top Ten and also charted in the Hot 100. Her early hits were recorded at the Hi recording studios in Memphis, operated by Willie Mitchell, using the cream of southern session players. She continued to have hits on Westbound and then on ABC Records through the mid-1970s, including "Love Me Right" (#10 R&B, #80 pop) She continued to produce and perform live. Her co-penned song, "Married, But Not to Each Other" (#16 R&B) was included in the 1979 The Best of Barbara Mandrell, compilation album.

In the early 1980s, she signed as a singer and songwriter with Malaco Records, for whom she released a string of critically acclaimed albums over more than 20 years, starting with Lady in the Street (1983) and Right Place, Right Time (1984). Both albums became major successes among soul blues, R&B and soul fans and on urban radio stations. In 1985, she enjoyed her only recognition in the UK Singles Chart, when her cover version of Rockin' Sidney's, "My Toot Toot", reached #6.[5]

LaSalle appeared at the 1984 and 1993 versions of the Long Beach Blues Festival, and also in 1993, she performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival. Her 1997 album Smokin' In Bed was an unexpected commercial success.[3] After more than a decade away, when she recorded three albums with small Memphis-based soul-blues label, Ecko, she returned to Malaco for her 2010 outing called "24 Hour Woman".

She continues to work as a live performer, particularly at festivals, and more recently has issued more gospel-tinged material. In 2011, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.[6]

LaSalle now lives with her husband, James E. Wolfe, in Jackson, Tennessee, where she recently opened a restaurant called Blues Legend Cafe.

In 2013, LaSalle was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Soul Blues Female Artist' category.[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic.com biography by Richard Skelly and Al Campbell
  2. ^ Mississippi Blues Trail website
  3. ^ a b c Oldies.com
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 296. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 313. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ "2011 Hall of Fame inductees". Blues.org. Retrieved 2012-04-14. 
  7. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-03-21. 

External links[edit]