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Encyclopedia > LaBelle

Labelle' (with the b written in small caps, while the spelling LaBelle exclusively refers to the stage surname of the group's lead vocalist, Patti LaBelle) was an American R&B/soul group, who successfully melded disco with funk and glam rock, resulting in such memorable songs as "Lady Marmalade". The group was led by Patti LaBelle, who later had a successful solo career. Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash rounded out the group, with Hendryx especially notable as a prolific songwriter. Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944 in West-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer and songwriter who fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and Labelle, which changed and birthed a new era of womens music and... Rhythm and blues (or R & B) is a musical marketing term introduced in the United States in the late 1940s by Billboard magazine. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... Disco is a genre of dance-oriented pop music that was popularized in dance clubs (discothèques) in the mid-1970s, and which dominated mainstream pop until the late 1970s. ... Funk is an African American musical style. ... David Bowie as Glam superstar Ziggy Stardust on the cover of his 1973 Album Aladdin Sane. ... Audio sample Lady Marmalade, released in December 1974, is a 1975 number-one single recorded by Labelle for CBS Records Epic label. ... Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944 in West-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer and songwriter who fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and Labelle, which changed and birthed a new era of womens music and... Nona Hendryx (born October 9, 1944) is a vocalist known for her work as a solo artist as well as one-third of the trio LaBelle. ... Sarah Dash is a singer and was part of the group Labelle. ...

Contents

History

A press kit photo of Patti LaBelle and The Bluebelles in 1963. Top: Sarah Dash. Bottom: Cindy Birdsong, Nona Hendryx & Patti LaBelle. Birdsong left the group in 1967 to join Diana Ross & the Supremes.

In 1961, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash of the Del Capris joined Patricia Holt and Sandra Tucker as replacement singers for Holt's singing group, The Ordettes. When Tucker's parents made her leave the group, she was replaced by Cindy Birdsong. Patricia Holt had her name changed to Patti LaBelle after the group became The Bluebelles. Though the first single was "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" (released as the Bluebelles), LaBelle relays in her memoir (Don't Block The Blessings) that the group didn't actually perform on the original track. As she tells it, the song's producer had recorded it with Starlets and renamed them the Bluebelles, but the group left upon the single's release. He quickly recruited the Ordettes to perform and promote the single using the Bluebells' moniker, and "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman" was later recut by the new group. The song was a hit, as was the new Bluebelle's 1963 follow-ups "Down the Aisle", "You'll Never Walk Alone" (1964; Rodgers & Hammerstein) and "Danny Boy" (a traditional Irish folk song). They signed with Atlantic Records in 1965, releasing "Over the Rainbow" and "Groovy Kind of Love" (later a hit for the Mindbenders and Phil Collins) with only mild success. They also contributed background vocals to Tony Kosinec's "Simple Emotion" and Wilson Pickett's hit "634-5789" in 1966. Along the line, they had extended their name to Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles. Image File history File links Bluebellespkit. ... Image File history File links Bluebellespkit. ... Year 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944 in West-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer and songwriter who fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and Labelle, which changed and birthed a new era of womens music and... Cindy Birdsong (center) with The Supremes in 1970, on the cover of the Right On LP. Cindy Birdsong (born Cynthia Ann Birdsong on December 15, 1939 in Camden, New Jersey) is an African-American singer. ... Year 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Rodgers and Hammerstein is the songwriting team consisting of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. Rodgers had previously been in a successful partnership with Lorenz Hart (see Rodgers and Hart). ... For the Scottish comedian, see Danny Bhoy. ... Atlantic Records (Atlantic Recording Corporation) is an American record label, and operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner Music Group. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1965 Gregorian calendar. ... The song Over the Rainbow (music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg) was written to showcase Judy Garlands talents in the star vehicle movie The Wizard of Oz, and it became her lifelong theme song. ... Philip David Charles Collins (born January 30, 1951 in Chiswick, London) is an English singer, songwriter, drummer and actor. ... Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American R&B/Rock and Roll and soul singer. ...


In 1967, the group became a trio after Cindy Birdsong left to join the Supremes, replacing Florence Ballard. Three years later, the group lost their contract and hired Vicki Wickham, a British TV producer, to remake their image. She changed the name to Labelle and pushed the group to a more contemporary sound, incorporated glam influences, particularly in the spectacular spacey stage costumes that included large amounts of glitter, feathers and other acoutrements. In the early 70s, Labelle opened for the Who and lent their unmistakably powerful vocals to Laura Nyro's Gonna Take a Miracle album in 1971 (now considered a classic). Two songs from this album ("Desiree" and "Gonna Take a Miracle") were used in the 2004 Colin Farrell film A Home at the End of the World to great dramatic effect -- especially "Gonna Take a Miracle," at the end of the film. Labelle also contributed to Nikki Giovanni's "Peace Be Still". 1967 (MCMLXVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar (the link is to a full 1967 calendar). ... The Supremes, later billed as Diana Ross and The Supremes, were a Motown all-female singing group. ... Florence Glenda Ballard Chapman, nicknamed Flo or Blondie, (June 30, 1943 – February 22, 1976) was an American singer, and one of the original lead singers of the Motown act The Supremes. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Laura Nyro (born Laura Nigro) (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter and singer, one of the most influential musicians to emerge in the 1960s. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... Colin James Farrell (born May 31, 1976) is an Irish actor who has appeared in several high-profile Hollywood films including Daredevil, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth and S.W.A.T.. // Farrell was born prematurely, weighing 1 pound 6 ounces, in Castleknock, Dublin to Rita and Eamon Farrell. ... A Home at the End of the World is a book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham, who also wrote the screenplay of the movie (directed by Michael Mayer). ... Yolande Cornelia Nikki Giovanni (born June 7, 1943 in Knoxville, Tennessee) is a legendary Grammy-nominated American poet, activist and author. ...

The 1975 release Phoenix

The group released Labelle in 1971 on Warner Bros. Records. It included covers of songs by the Rolling Stones, Kenny Rogers, Carole King and Laura Nyro. The following album, Moonshadow (1972), even though it included covers of famous songs ("MoonShadow" by Cat Stevens and the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again"), gave Hendryx more freedom to write material for Labelle. The album flopped commercially, as did the third Labelle album, Pressure Cookin, (1973), released on RCA Records. By this time and until Labelle's break-up, Hendryx wrote most of Labelle's material, taking the songs in a highly experimental direction that was a far cry from the sound that the Bluebelle's (and most other "girl groups" of the era) had performed. Although the album wasn't commercially successful, Pressure Cookin' allowed her to hone her talents as a songwriter, clearly demonstrated by the moving "(Can I Speak to You Before You Go to) Hollywood," which was based on the way the ladies felt when people who had "made it" in the business no longer were interested in keeping in contact with Patti, Sarah, or Nona. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... Warner Bros. ... The Rolling Stones are an English band whose blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll-infused music became popular during the British Invasion in the early 1960s. ... Kenneth Donald Kenny Rogers (born August 21, 1938, in Houston, Texas) is a prolific American country music singer, photographer, producer, songwriter, actor and businessman. ... Carole King (born February 9, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. ... Laura Nyro (born Laura Nigro) (October 18, 1947 – April 8, 1997) was an American songwriter and singer, one of the most influential musicians to emerge in the 1960s. ... Year 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Yusuf Islam[2] (Arabic: يوسف إسلام) (born Steven Demetre Georgiou on 21 July 1948 in London), who was known as Cat Stevens from 1966 to 1978, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, educator, philanthropist and prominent convert to Islam. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Year 1973 (MCMLXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the 1973 Gregorian calendar. ... RCA Records is one of the flagship labels of Sony BMG Music Entertainment. ...


After Pressure Cookin', Labelle signed with Epic Records and recorded an album, Nightbirds, with Allen Toussaint, a famous record producer. "Lady Marmalade", a sexy, funky disco song about a New Orleans prostitute(with a come-hither French chorus, "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?") became a massive hit in 1975 and one of the first mainstream disco hits (Jones and Kantonen, 1999). The success of the single also pushed the album to the top of the charts. It would be covered by numerous artists including Madchester-era indie The Happy Mondays (spliced into "Kinky Afro") and most notably Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa and P!nk for the Moulin Rouge! soundtrack. Epic Records is an American record label, owned and operated by Sony BMG. // Epic was launched originally as a jazz and classical music label in 1953 by CBS. Its bright-yellow, black and blue logo became a familiar trademark for many jazz and classical releases. ... Paul Shaffer (L) and Allen Toussaint on the September 7, 2005 show of The Late Show with David Letterman Allen Toussaint (born January 14, 1938) is an American musician, songwriter and record producer and one of the most influential figures in New Orleans R&B. In the 1960s and 1970s... In the music industry, a record producer (or music producer) has many roles, among them controlling the recording sessions, coaching and guiding the musicians, organizing and scheduling production budget and resources, and supervising the recording, mixing and mastering processes. ... Audio sample Lady Marmalade, released in December 1974, is a 1975 number-one single recorded by Labelle for CBS Records Epic label. ... New Orleans is the largest city in the state of Louisiana, United States of America. ... Whore redirects here. ... Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? is a French phrase. ... Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Christina María Aguilera, born December 18, 1980, is an American pop singer and songwriter. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Mýa Marie Harrison (born October 10, 1978 in Greenbelt, Maryland) is a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and pop singer, songwriter, record producer, model, dancer, and actress who rose to fame during the late 1990s. ... Alecia Moore (born September 8, 1979), better known by her stage name Pink (also written as P!nk), is a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter who first gained prominence in North America in early January of 2000. ... Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Academy Award-winning Australian jukebox musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann. ...


Labelle's commercial momentum after Nightbirds and "Lady Marmalade" decreased, in spite of several hits and the critically acclaimed experimental albums Phoenix (1975) and Chameleon (1976). When the group split up in 1976, Hendryx and LaBelle managed successful solo careers, while Sarah Dash had a few notable dance hits: "Sinner Man" (1978, which gained her much public attention), and "Lucky Tonight" (1984), with Sylvester singing background vocals. Dash also acted on television for the PBS series "Watch Your Mouth," (1978), and has performed on Broadway. Her career picked up again om the 90s when she was asked to sing with The Rolling Stones on their Steel Wheels album, and even more so when she became one of Keith Richards' "X-pensive Winos," and was given solo and duet opportunities with his band (namely the (duet) ballad, "Make No Mistake," and solo "Time Is on My Side," which Richards said in his autobiography is "the best version he has ever heard"). Year 1975 (MCMLXXV) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Sarah Dash is a singer and was part of the group Labelle. ... Sylvester may refer to: // Pope Silvester I (Saint Sylvester) Pope Silvester II Antipope Silvester III Sylvester of Kiev Sylvester of Moscow Sylvester of Assisi (companion of Saint Francis of Assisi) Sylvester of Marsico Sylvester Gozzolini, founder of the Sylvestrines Sylvester James, disco performer Sylvester Stallone, actor Sylvester McCoy, actor Sylvester... The Rolling Stones are an English band whose blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll-infused music became popular during the British Invasion in the early 1960s. ... Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943 in Dartford, Kent), is an English guitarist, songwriter, and singer best known for his work with The Rolling Stones of which he was he a founding and continuing member for their 40 plus years existence. ... Time Is On My Side is a song recorded by Jazz singer Kai Winding and The Enchanters in 1963, and covered by both Soul singer Irma Thomas and Rock band The Rolling Stones in 1964. ...


LaBelle, Hendryx, and Dash have reunited several times including a famed 1991 reunion at the Apollo Theater 30 years after the group first stole the audience's hearts at the same venue. The concert was recorded as a live album. A brief reunion came in the form of the huge dance success "Turn It Out," from the To Wong Foo soundtrack. They reunited again in 2001 to honor Patti on BET's "Walk of Fame," where the performed an explosive version of "What Can I Do for You," as well as "Lady Marmalade" The most recently reunion was in 2005 during a tribute to Patti's 45th anniversary in show business. In January 2006, Labelle again reunited to record "Dear Rosa," a tribute to the late civil rights champion Rosa Parks. The release date of the single has not been set at this time. There are also plans for an entire reunion album and tour, set to happen in 2008. In addition, Labelle contributed the theme song for the soundtrack of the film, "Preaching to the Choir." Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... Apollo Theater marquee, c. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (February 4, 1913 – October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist and seamstress whom the U.S. Congress dubbed the Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement. Parks is famous for her refusal on December 1, 1955 to obey bus driver James Blake...


News

According to her recent Fashion News Live interview during Fashion Week 2007, Patti Labelle announced that Labelle is currently recording with Lenny Kravitz as producer. They plan to finish recording this year and plan to tour next year (2008). A Fashion Week catwalk Vogue editors Anna Wintour and André Leon Talley during New York Fashion Week A fashion week is a fashion industry event, lasting approximately one week, that allows fashion designers or houses to display their latest collections. ... Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944 in West-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Grammy Award-winning American R&B and soul singer and songwriter who fronted two groups, Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles and Labelle, which changed and birthed a new era of womens music and... Leonard Albert Lenny Kravitz (born May 26, 1964) is an American Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and arranger whose retro style incorporates elements of rock, soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads. ...


Discography

  • Labelle (Warner Bros. Records)
  • Moonshadow (Warner Bros. Records)
  • Pressure Cookin' (RCA)
  • Nightbirds (Epic)
  • Phoenix (Epic)
  • Chameleon (Epic)

Nightbirds is a 1974 album by Labelle. ...

Singles

  • "Morning Much Better", 1971, Warner Bros. Records
  • "Moonshadow", 1972, Warner Bros. Records
  • "Ain't It Sad It's All Over", 1972, Warner Bros. Records
  • "Sunshine", 1973, RCA
  • "Going On a Holiday", 1973, RCA
  • "Lady Marmalade", 1974, Epic
  • "What Can I Do for You", 1974, Epic
  • "Messin' With My Mind", 1975, Epic
  • "Far As We Felt Like Goin"', 1975, Epic
  • "Get You Somebody New", 1976, Epic
  • "Isn't It a Shame", 1976, Epic
  • "Miss Otis Regrets", 1976
  • "Lady Marmalade / Messin' With My Mind" (re-release), 1989 12-inch, Epic
  • "Turn It Out" (from the soundtrack To Wong Foo...), 1995, MCA

Audio sample Lady Marmalade, released in December 1974, is a 1975 number-one single recorded by Labelle for CBS Records Epic label. ...

Sources

  • Jones, Alan and Kantonen, Jussi (1999) Saturday Night Forever: The Story of Disco. Chicago, Illinois: A Cappella Books. ISBN 1-55652-411-0.
  • LaBelle, Patti, with Laura B. Randolph (1996). Don't Block the Blessings: Revelations of a Lifetime. New York, NY: Riverhead Books. ISBN 1-57322-039-6.

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
TheStar.com | entertainment | LaBelle says music industry racist (348 words)
R&B legend Patti LaBelle says one of the biggest obstacles in her career has been watching friend and fellow diva Céline Dion soar up the charts with a song she recorded first.
LaBelle tells online magazine MonacoRevue.com that racism in the music industry kept her from reaching the same heights with "If You Asked Me To."
People pay more respect to white artists who sing well before they do fl women," she says.
Labelle (3947 words)
LaBelle is famous for her over the top stage persona, but here she seems rushed, banging out hits like "New Attitude" and "Lady Marmalade" as if she had a train to catch.
LaBelle is in fine form bantering with the audience: she gives spoken introductions to most of the tunes where she explains what drew her about each one, and even invokes Jerry Springer while explaining how to define boundaries with a lover.
LaBelle's singing is the same as ever, but with such weak material she can't summon up any drama.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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