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Denise Lasalle

Unlike so many other blues vocalists who just reinterpret material given to them by songwriters, Denise LaSalle is a seriously talented songwriter. Although her soul blues style has strong urban contemporary overtones at times, it's best to think of LaSalle as a modern-day Bessie Smith, because that's really what she is. She writes funny songs full of sassy attitude and it's an attitude she carries with her on-stage. Off-stage, LaSalle accommodates all autograph seekers and gladly obliges journalists and radio disc jockeys.

The Jackson, TN-based LaSalle was raised in Belzoni, MS, (also home to Joe Willie "PineTop" Perkins some years earlier) but she got started singing in local churches around Leflore County. She was born July 16, 1939, as Denise Craig. Growing up, she listened to the Grand Ole Opry radio broadcasts and then in Belzoni, lived across the street from a juke joint. LaSalle's early influences, from the jukeboxes around Belzoni and over the radio, included Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington, and LaVern Baker. LaSalle moved north to Chicago when she was in her early twenties and would attend shows at the Regal Theatre, always returning home to write songs. She got to know blues musicians and began giving her songs to them, until one day a Chess Records executive stopped by at Mixer's Lounge, where LaSalle was working as a bar maid. He listened to one of her songs and took it down to Chess Records, and the company later signed her as a vocalist, but never recorded her. Two years later, LaSalle recorded and produced her own record with the help of Billy "The Kid" Emerson, the Chess executive who'd originally shown an interest in her. After the record made some waves on local radio, Chess stepped in and purchased the master and took it to Europe. Meanwhile, LaSalle continued writing songs and sitting in with blues musicians around the Chicago clubs.

LaSalle's first big hit came about in 1971 when her "Trapped By a Thing Called Love" broke on the radio in Chicago and then Detroit. That record was for the Westbound label and then she signed with ABC Records in 1975, cutting three albums in three years until the label was sold to MCA. After MCA dropped her because of the label's "difficulty in promoting black acts" at that time, she continued performing as much as she could in Chicago and Memphis. In 1980, a Malaco executive called to ask her to write a song for Z.Z. Hill. A positive relationship with the company was quickly developed, which resulted in LaSalle recording 11 discs for the label, including Lady in the Street, (1983), Right Place, Right Time, (1984), Love Talkin', (1985), Hittin' Where It Hurts, (1989), Still Trapped, (1990), Still Bad, (1994), and Smokin' in Bed (1997). While her Malaco sides are probably her most important recordings, other than the original of her early-'70s hit "Trapped," she still releases excellent gospel crossover material, including This Real Woman (2000) and There's No Separation (2001) on Ordena Records and Little Bit Naughty (2008) on Shout. ~ Richard Skelly & Al Campbell
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Pay Before You Pump

1. Pay Before You Pump

2. It's Going Down

3. I Need A Working Man

4. Mississippi Woman

5. Hold On Tight

6. Hell Sent Me You

7. Walking On Beale Street And Crying

8. I'm Hanging On

9. You Don't Live Here No More

10. I'm Tired

11. It's Going Down

12. Mississippi Woman

x

Track List: Smokin' In Bed

1. Smokin' In Bed

2. Juke Joint Woman

3. Blues Party Tonight

4. If I Don't Holler

5. Goin' Through Changes

6. Five Below Zero

7. Never Been Touched Like This

8. Why Am I Missing You

9. The Night We Called It A Day

10. Dirty Old Woman

x

Track List: Still Bad

1. Right Side Of The Wrong Bed

2. Soft-Hearted Woman

3. Three People

4. No Supervision

5. Child Of The Ghetto

6. Dial 1-900-Get-Some

7. Risky Business

8. The Sweeter The Man

9. It Ain't Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

10. A Woman Needs To Be Loved

11. The B**ch Is Bad

x

Track List: Love Me Right

1. Don't Jump My Pony

2. Long Dong Silver

3. You Can't Get Nothin' Straight Between Us

4. Love Me Right

5. When We're Making Love

6. I'm Not That Kind Of Girl

7. Too Many Hungry Mouths Around The Table

8. One More Wrong Step

9. Fast Hands And A Dirty Mind

10. Another One Bites The Dust

11. Don't Pick It Up

x

Track List: Rain And Fire

1. It Be's That Way Sometimes

2. I'm Sho Gonna Mess With Yo Man

3. What's Goin' On In My House

4. Look What Can Happen To You (If You Get Caught Mesisn' With My Tutu)

5. Shame, Shame, Shame

6. Dip, Bam, Thank You Maam

7. Learnin' How To Cheat On You

8. Rain And Fire

9. It Takes You All Night

10. Is He Lovin' Someone Else Tonight

x

Track List: Still Trapped

1. Wet Match

2. Trapped...1990

3. Paper Thin

4. Chain Letter

5. A Real Sad Story

6. Drop That Zero

7. I'm Loved

8. Kiss It

9. Love And Happiness

10. Wild Thang (All Nite Long)

x

Track List: Hittin' Where It Hurts

1. Don't Cry No More

2. Write This One Off (As A Loss)

3. Caught In Your Own Mess

4. Bring I On Home To Me

5. Eee Tee

6. If You Can't Do Me Right

7. See Saw

8. You Gotta Pay To Play

9. I Forgot To Remember

x

Track List: A Lady In The Street

1. Lady In The Street

2. This Bell Was Made For Ringing

3. Don't Mess With My Man

4. Lay Me Down

5. Down Home Blues

6. I Was Not The Best Woman

7. Come To Bed

8. I Was Tellin' Him About You

x

Track List: Love Talkin'

1. Talkin' In Yor Sleep

2. Someone Els Is Steppin' In

3. Nobody Loves Me Like You Do

4. Give E Yo' Most Strongest Whiskey

5. Love Is A Five Letter Word

6. Love Talkin'

7. Get What You Can Get

8. Linger A Little Longer

9. Keeps Me Running Back

10. Too Many Lovers

11. My Tu.Tu

x

Track List: Right Place, Right Time

1. Right Place, Right Time

2. He's Not Available

3. Treat Your Man Like A Baby

4. Good Man Gone Bad

5. Boogie Man

6. Your Husband Is Cheating On Us

7. Why Does It Feel So Right

8. Keep Your Pants On

9. Bump And Grind

10. Love School

Comments

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Its still mean!!!
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This use to be me"
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Me to
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Love this song so much. :)
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Love her
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Lov her songs, Mrs Nell
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Pay and Go
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Going thru changes, I am so tired!
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She sounds great... Love hurts...
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I just love this music, mornings, noon,and nights
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Keep it real ok
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This is some heavy stuff
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Jam to old school music
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Jam it old dcjool
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That's me I love my man 4life I don't play no game
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Ms Lasalle is a wonderful person I MEET AND WORKED FOR HER in her home it was a great experience to see her write and sing in life long l MEMORIE, I LOVE YOU .

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That's me a MS/La woman
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You can tell I love Pandora! Comments galore!
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Love song
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Ain't that some s**t!
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Love this song
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Love this song
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Yes indeed!
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hardin7j3
Jam it old school
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lindafmorgan 5 2
Denise your songs, tells it like it really is! Thanks Lady!
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Like
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I like old school music
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lorjwall
Love old school ..
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I was trapped by his love.
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You go girl with the old school
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Love the blues
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Baby i love that
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Love this lady
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I love old school&the blues
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Bring back memories
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'
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Get' em niecy,Denise La Salle,Millie Jackson,Shir l e y Brown and Barbara Mason can't be touched.
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I grew up listening to Malaco musicians. Blues played non-stop in my house & in the neighborhood . I didn't appreciate it then but I'm on it now.
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B.M.W. Black Man Wife
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Love Denise LaSalle
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Yes cuntry girl = ghetto girl Mississippi woman who get down with her music. The queen of blues. Love your music.
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Pow!!!!!!!
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What's goin on n my house......g i r l gone!!!!!!!b e t t a watch that neighbor hoe and all the rest of the hoes... Like Betty wright told us bout the clean up woman
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Country girl=ghetto girl
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Tell the truth shame the damn devil need$$$$$)$$ $ pay the damn bills dude
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Denise songs just take me back!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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That's right girl even the score
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I remember listening to Denise at home and we played her jams at school and at parties. Denisr. Sings in the same vein as Bessie Smith, I miss her.
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MUSIC to learn from.... Luv ur music.....
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Shirley Brown is the s**t she knows what to sing about
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