|Denise Lasalle at Lamont's in Indian Head, Maryland, August 13, 2005. Photo © Ron Weinstock.|
Born near Sidon, Misssisppi, Lasalle was not simply a terrific blues singer, but also a songwriter and producer. She had a minor hit on Chess before she founded were her then husband, Bill Jones," independent production company, Crajon, with her then husband Bill Jones. Her song "Trapped By A Thing Called Love" (1971) was released on Detroit-based Westbound Records. This was a number 1 Rhythm & Blues hit, charted on the pop charts and certified as a gold record. She had more recordings for Westbound and then ABC Records while her songs were recorded by otghers including country singer Barbara Mandrell.
In the 1980s she recorded a number of acclaimed albums for Malaco Records that established her as a prominent singer on the southern soul and blues circles particularly and her comments about being ignored by some blues circles led the Blues Foundation in a Living Blues interview led to the creation of the soul-blues category in the W.C. Handy Awards (now the Blues Music Awards). After recording for Malaco for years, she recorded three albums for Ecko Records before returning to Malaco in 2010.
Denise was inducted to the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame in 2011 and was inducted on 2015 into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame. In recent years, she had been living with her husband James E. Wolfe, in Jackson, Tennessee.
Here is Denise LaSalle performing a medley of "Give Me Yo' Strongest Whiskey" and "The Blues Is Alright."
Here she sings a medley of "Someone Else Is Steppin' In" and "Down Home Blues."