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By Bettye LaVette

The singer's autobiography charts one overlooked probability and blown chance after one other for you to belated renown forty years into her profession. Born Betty Haskins in Michigan, she was once a highschool dropout, married and a mom via the age of 15, and ran wild throughout the Motor urban golf equipment. Rechristened Bettye LaVette, she dove into the song scene, notching a top-10 nationwide R & B hit on Atlantic in 1962. whereas she reached the head forty a number of extra instances during the early '80s, LaVette by no means skilled sustained good fortune. Her latter-day albums for the autonomous label Anti- ultimately introduced her the viewers she coveted. Her personal recounting indicates she used to be the sufferer of her personal monumentally erroneous judgment. She indulged heartily in alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and sex--she counted Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and Jackie Wilson between her many paramours, sustained a decades-long affair with list exec Clarence Paul, had a long term woman lover and labored on and off as a prostitute. & nbsp;Read more...

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I didn’t complain, because the backup band, later known as the Funk Brothers, was one of the best anywhere. They were the guys who played on dozens of Motown hits and were then led by pianist Earl Van Dyke. Jack Ashford was on vibes, James Jamerson on bass, and Benny Benjamin on drums. The problem wasn’t with the music but with the money. I was paid next to nothing and barely getting by. My mind kept asking the same questions: If I’m an Atlantic artist with a solid hit to my credit, why am I starving?

I’m an exec at the musician’s union. Been around music my whole life. Played trombone for Jimmie Lunceford. I know singing, and especially female singing. ” I looked up at this guy. He was over six feet tall and spoke with a deep voice. He was in his early forties. I was eighteen. “Look, mister,” I said to him. “You’re saying I need training. ” “Fine. ” “I ain’t coming back,” I said. ” W hen I arrived in New York, my first reaction was to die in the middle of Broadway. Just lie down and let the cars and yellow cabs roll over me.

We became instant buddies and remain so to this day. indd 41 7/26/12 3:14 AM B e t t y e L a Ve t t e the door and looked right at me—right through me. Everything about him was beautiful. ” he asked, slamming my names together. “Yes,” I said. “Come here,” he ordered. I did. And I never came back. I left with Clarence that night. He put me in a shiny new Eldorado that later I learned was Andre’s. At the time, I thought it belonged to Clarence. I thought the world belonged to Clarence. We rode off into the night and I was his.

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