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Lavelle White
The blues for Lavelle White was born in the cotton fields of her childhood home near Hollandale, Mississippi. The daughter of sharecroppers Lavelle went to school in the morning and worked the cotton fields in the afternoon. She would join the workers singing in the fields and learned from this rich musical heritage. She said singing the blues in the cotton fields defined her essence. She moved to Houston when she was 15, around the time she first started writing songs, and was singing in local nightclubs with guitarist Clarence Hollimon during the early 1950's. Another Houston guitarist, Johnny Copeland, was responsible for getting Lavelle her first recording contract with Duke Records in 1958. She toured extensively with all the major blues and R&B acts at that time and had a string of hit singles like "Yes I've Been Crying" and "Stop These Teardrops" until she left the label in 1964. A visit to family in Chicago in 1978 turned into an 8-year stint at the famed blues club the Kingston Mines. She returned to Houston in 1988 and once again began working the clubs. She has since been voted Houston's Blues Artist Of The Year and in 1994 recorded her first album, "Miss Lavelle" on the Antone's label. That was followed in 1997 with her Discovery Records, "It Haven't Been Easy." Lavelle's smooth, seductive and smoky soul/blues vocals, reminiscent of the phrasing and styling of Irma Thomas, captivate every crowd she sings for. She will also perform at the Bayfront Blues Saloon on Sunday, August 16th.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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