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By Bettye LaVette

The singer's autobiography charts one ignored likelihood and blown chance after one other in an effort 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 tune scene, notching a top-10 nationwide R & B hit on Atlantic in 1962. whereas she reached the head forty numerous extra instances during the early '80s, LaVette by no means skilled sustained good fortune. Her latter-day albums for the self sustaining label Anti- eventually introduced her the viewers she coveted. Her personal recounting indicates she used to be the sufferer of her personal monumentally faulty 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 checklist exec Clarence Paul, had a long term lady lover and labored on and off as a prostitute. & nbsp;Read more...

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Just lie down and let the cars and yellow cabs roll over me. That’s how happy I was. I could have ended my life in the middle of Manhattan and felt like, having seen this magic land at least once, I had lived. indd 52 7/26/12 3:14 AM A W o m a n L ı• k e M e almost as hard as I’d fallen for Clarence Paul. The energy got me. The energy pushed me forward. The first thing I did was run over to Atlantic Records. Jerry Wexler and I had had some preliminary conversations on the phone, but I had to deal with him in person.

Matthews and West said the song would come out on one of their labels—Northern, Reel, or Jam. I didn’t care which one. I just wanted to see my name on a record and hear it on the radio. indd 26 7/26/12 3:14 AM A W o m a n L ı• k e M e It all happened, but in a bigger way than I could have ever imagined. ” I asked. ” “No, the Atlantic Ocean. ” I asked. “Atlantic, the one with the red and black label? ” For one of the few times in my life, I was speechless. Several seconds went by before I asked the only question that occurred to me, the only question that seemed to matter.

I asked. Johnnie Mae turned around instantly and slammed me against the wall. She grabbed my throat and said, “Bitch, you haven’t even made any money. ” I was scared to death. indd 28 7/26/12 3:14 AM L over’s Q uestı• on B ack when I was eleven or twelve, Mama came home one day from Elma and Carl’s record shop with a hot new song by Clyde McPhatter. “Wait till you hear this, Betty,” she said. ” I loved it as much as my mother did. Daddy didn’t feel the same way. He was in a bad mood. He’d been drinking—as had she—and wanted more.

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