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Joy Keys chats with Soul Singer Bettye LaVette

  • Broadcast in Music
Joy Keys

Joy Keys


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Betty Jo Haskins was born in Muskegon, Michigan. The family moved to Detroit when she was six years old.  Bettye did not get her start in the church, but in that very same living room, where there was a jukebox, filled with the blues, country & western, and R&B records of the time. The "5" Royales, Dinah Washington, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Red Foley, ...these were her roots. At 16 years old Betty Jo changed her name to Bettye LaVette.

Bettye's first single was "My Man - He’s a Loving Man.", in the fall of 1962. The record charted #7 R&B and put her on her first national tour, with Ben E. King, Clyde McPhatter, and another newcomer, Otis Redding.

Some of Bettye’s albums include: “Let Me Down Easy”, “Tell Me a Lie”, “A Woman Like Me”, “ I’ve Got My Own Hell To Raise”, "The Scene of the Crime", and “Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook.”

Bettye has won many awards including: W.C. Handy Award in 2004 and the “Pioneer Award” from The Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 2006. “The Scene of the Crime” album was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album” and “CD, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook” was nominated for a Grammy Award for “Best Contemporary Blues Album.”

Late 2012 saw the release of her album, "Thankful N' Thoughtful", and her autobiography, variously described as 'engrosing', 'riviting', 'hair-raising' and only suitable for the over 18s, "A Woman Like Me", co-written with David Ritz. Website: www.bettyelavette.com