Archive for February, 2008


Bettye LaVette, song interpreter

Starting in 1961, an amazing singer struggles for some success and recognition. Along the way there are record deals that get her hopes up, a few singles that are modest hits, but nothing really pans out. Recognition and money never come, and things are hard. Record labels give her no respect. A whole album of her work, one that some people call a ‘masterpiece,’ was shelved by her label in 1972, never to be released.

But in 1999, a French music fan finds the masters to that album that had been shelved since 1972. This fan releases this forgotten album on his own label and it’s a big hit! At long last this artists begins to get some of that long sought after recognition and money. And a few critically acclaimed albums later, and at 61 years old, the artist is nominated for a Grammy.

It’s kind of a cool story. Unless you had to live it.

And it would be an even cooler story if most people actually knew who Bettye LaVette is now that she has found this success. But no, we don’t.

But we should.

So now that I know who she is I’m going to do my part to spread the word.

Talking Old Soldiers (Music by Elton John, Lyrics Bernie Taupin)

The Drive-by Truckers back up Bettye LaVette on her Grammy nominated album, The Scene of the Crime.


lyrics of the day

When life hits you like a truck you gotta rise up.

-Paul Thorn

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