Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Lavelle White began performing in Houston clubs in the 1950's with the Johnny Copeland Band. Scouted by Don Robey of Duke-Peacock Records, she was signed to that label and cut her first sides with Duke in 1958. She consequently had several regional hits, including "Stop Those Teardrops", featuring Dr. John on piano, and "Yes, I've Been Crying." In all, she recorded nearly a dozen sides for Duke; she also wrote "Lead Me On" for Bobby "Blue" Bland. White also toured nationally throughout the '50's and '60's as an opening act or supporting act for numerous R&B packages, which included B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Sam Cooke, Gene Chandler, Gladys Knight & The Pips, the Isley Brothers, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson. After her recording career ended at Duke in 1964, she continued working clubs in Texas and the south, including stints with famed Arkansas guitarist Larry Davis. She left Houston in the late 70's and moved to Chicago, where she became the headliner at the famed blues club the Kingston Mines from 1978 -1987. While in Chicago she worked with such notables as Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy and Lonnie Brooks. She returned to Houston in 1988 and once again began working the clubs, including Antone's in Austin. She has since been voted Houston's Blues Artist Of The Year, and received three French Academy Awards, including the Big Bill Broonzy Award and the Charlie Cross Academy Award by President George Mitterand for her talent and contribution the the blues. 1994, she recorded her first full album, Miss Lavelle, on Antone's Records and it was voted one of the best blues albums of the year. She received three W.C. Handy Award nominations in May 1995, including Artist of the Year. The long hard years of hard work have finally paid off for Lavelle White, as she has finally begun to receive the recognition deserving of her talent.