R&B legend Bettye Lavette returns to the Narrows Center in Fall River

Bettye Levette photo

FALL RIVER – Two time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette returns to the Narrows Center in Fall River, Mass., this Saturday, June 20, at 8 p.m. Click HERE for tickets.

LaVette is an interpreter of the highest order. Whether the song originated as country, rock, pop, jazz or blues, when she gets through with it, it is pure R&B. She gets inside a song and shapes and twists it to convey all of the emotion that can be wrought from the lyric.

LaVette was born Betty Jo Haskins on January 29,1946, in Muskegon, Michigan. Unlike many of her contemporaries, LaVette did not get her start in the church, but was weaned on the C&W and R&B records of the time that were playing on the juke box in her parents’ living room.

In 1962, at the age of 16, she became Bettye LaVette. Her first single was “My Man–He’s a Loving Man” on Atlantic Records. The record charted #7 R&B and put her on her first national tour, with Ben E. King, Clyde McPhatter, and other Atlantic stars of the time. She continued recording throughout the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s including stints on Atco, Epic, and Motown.

She worked alongside Charles “Honi” Coles, and Cab Calloway in the Toni Award-winning Broadway musical, Bubbling Brown Sugar, in the role of Sweet Georgia Brown.

2012 marked her 50th year in show business. It also saw the release of both a new album, Thankful N’ Thoughtful (ANTI- Records), and her autobiography, A Woman Like Me (Penguin), written with David Ritz. The book is currently being developed as a feature film by producing partners John Wells (The West Wing, ER, etc) and Alicia Keys’ company AKW. At President Obama’s personal request, she also performed at the prestigious annual Fords Theater Gala in Washington DC. Her most recent album, Worthy, was released in January of this year.

LaVette is one of very few of her contemporaries who were recording during the birth of soul music in the 60s and is still creating vital recordings today, as opposed to resting on her laurels and recreating sounds of the past.

To quote LaVette: “And still I rise!”

Tickets are available through the venue’s website, narrowscenter.org, or by calling the box office at 508-324-1926. They will also be available at the door.

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