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Belzoni in Humphreys County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Denise LaSalle

 
 
Denise LaSalle Marker (Front) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 14, 2014
1. Denise LaSalle Marker (Front)
Inscription.
Front
Soul and blues star Denise LaSalle was born Denise Allen near Sidon in rural Leflore County on July 16, 1939, but spent much of her childhood here in Belzoni. After moving to Chicago in her teens, she began writing songs and scored the first of many self-penned hits in 1971 with the No. 1 R&B single “Trapped By a Thing Called Love.” LaSalle’s direct and often provocative style on stage also led to great success as a live performer.

Rear
Denise LaSalle achieved success not only as a recording artist and performer but also as a songwriter, producer, record label owner, and nightclub operator. Ora Denise Allen spent her early years on a plantation and around age seven or eight moved with her family moved to Belzoni, where they lived in homes on Cain and Hayden streets. In the late 1940s she saw bluesmen Elmore James and Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2 performing on radio programs broadcast from the Easy Pay furniture store downtown. She sang in church as a child and after moving to Chicago in her mid-teens worked with the gospel group The Sacred Five.

At fifteen Allen sold stories to the magazines Tan and True Confessions. Soon thereafter she began writing songs and changed her professional name to “LaSalle” because it “sounded French.” In
Denise LaSalle Marker (Rear) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 14, 2014
2. Denise LaSalle Marker (Rear)
1967 LaSalle made her first recordings for bluesman Billy “The Kid” Emerson’s Tarpon label, scoring a minor hit with “A Love Reputation.” In 1969 LaSalle and her then-husband Bill Jones formed Crajon Enterprises. The LaSalle-penned "Get Your Lie Straight" was a major hit for Bill Coday on the Crajon label. In 1971-72 LaSalle gained national recognition with three Top Ten R&B singles on Westbound Records: “Trapped By a Thing Called Love,” “Now Run and Tell That,” and “Man Sized Job.” As further records on Westbound, ABC, and MCA continued to hit the charts, LaSalle was becoming infamous for her racy onstage persona and extended, off-color “raps” on how women should please their men and vice versa. LaSalle attributed her strong abilities as a storyteller to her lifelong love of country music; her song “Married, But Not to Each Other” was covered by country star Barbara Mandrell.

In 1984 LaSalle recorded the first in a long series of albums for Jackson-based Malaco Records. Nine of her Malaco albums in the 1980s and '90s sold well enough to make the national charts, as did the Malaco single "My Tu-Tu." During this period LaSalle began to be marketed as a “blues” rather than “R&B” artist and in 1986 she founded the National Association for the Preservation of the Blues
Denise LaSalle Marker photos image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 14, 2014
3. Denise LaSalle Marker photos
** Click picture for more detail **
to bring more attention to the “soul/blues” style. LaSalle also wrote songs for Z. Z. Hill, who had a hit with her “Someone Else Is Steppin’ In,” as well as for Ann Peebles and Little Milton, whose recording of the LaSalle-Mack Rice composition “Packed Up and Took My Man” was sampled by rapper Ghostface Killah. In 1997 LaSalle left Malaco after her husband, businessman and disc jockey James “Super” Wolfe, Jr., joined the ministry. She recorded a gospel album on her own Angel In the Midst label, but soon returned to the blues field with popular albums on her Ordena label and on Ecko Records. In 2008 she rejoined the Malaco Records roster.
 
Erected 2009 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 73.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
 
Location. 33° 10.568′ N, 90° 29.268′ W. Marker is in Belzoni, Mississippi, in Humphreys County. Marker is on Castleman Street west of Church Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 102 Castleman Street, Belzoni MS 39038, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Turner's Drug Store
Denise LaSalle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cleo Robertson, January 5, 2015
4. Denise LaSalle Marker
Marker is located on street in front of the Humphreys County Courthouse
(about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Reverend George Lee (approx. half a mile away); Pinetop Perkins (approx. 1.6 miles away); Hank Cochran (approx. 7.8 miles away); Little Milton Campbell (approx. 13.7 miles away); Inverness (approx. 13.7 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Denise LaSalle Biography. (Submitted on September 18, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Mississippi Blues Trail. (Submitted on September 18, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Mississippi Blues Trail: Denise LaSalle. Denise LaSalle achieved success not only as a recording artist and performer but also as a songwriter, producer, record label owner, and nightclub operator. (Submitted on July 27, 2016, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

4. Music Heritage of Jackson, Tennessee: Denise LaSalle. Not only is Denise LaSalle expressive through her musical talent, she expresses great culinary talent in her restaurant “Blues Legend Café” located in Jackson, Tennessee. (Submitted on July 27, 2016, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. 2011 Blues Hall of Fame Inductee
Humphreys County Courthouse behind marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 14, 2014
5. Humphreys County Courthouse behind marker.

Denise LaSalle has reigned as the Queen of the Blues on the Southern soul circuit for years, and in 2011 was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted July 27, 2016, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

2. 2014 Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year Nominee
Denise LaSalle was nominated as Soul Blues Female Artist of the Year at the 2014 Blues Music Awards. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted July 27, 2016, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 18, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 331 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 18, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   4. submitted on July 27, 2016, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   5. submitted on September 18, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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