Strix the harbinger
guards the exit gate, quizzing all
Who will pass this night?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bettye LaVette

I first stumbled onto Bettye when she sang the following. There is an article in the current New Yorker about her. Apparently no one in the music trade had ever heard of her either, including Peter Townsend and Roger whatshisname. When she walked on stage the applause was so thin that they enhanced it for the broadcast. She reportedly didn't care for The Who or the song, but she had a chance to perform and she grabbed it. She said that being assigned to sing someone else's song was like being introduced to a man and being told she had to sleep with him. I like the look of stunned disbelief on the inductees.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I first heard Bettye on KFAI radio, maybe two or three years before she turned up on TV. I thought, Who is that who sings the way Janis Joplin was only trying to sing? I remembered her name and was excited to see her before long on the upcoming schedule at the Dakota Jazz Club. I rounded up some friends and went. It was the most emotional performance I'd ever seen. Nearly all the songs were about disappointing relationships, and she fully embodied them. To get to the depth of the emotion, she sank to her knees on the floor (where we at tables in the balcony could no longer see her). Now that she's been "discovered," after a lifelong local career in Detroit, she's singing a wider variety of material, some of it more upbeat, but still with full engagement. She looks really good, too, and she's OUR AGE.
Cheri

Johann Rissik said...

I want that played at my funeral.

Nothing else, nothing less.

Thank you, Gunnar.