Miss Lavelle White‘s Holiday Party! @8:oopm – $10 at the door. No advance tickets. 21+ only.
has Houston’s rich rhythm & blues scene of the 1950s to thank for her start. Born in either Louisiana or Mississippi in a year equally in question, White started as many others in her day did: singing gospel. The Eisenhower era of big-band blues found most local and touring outfits featuring a female vocalist.
White had no trouble getting work and her soul-filled vocals – rich and powerful in the tradition of Dinah Washington – came to the attention of music magnate Don Robey. Robey ran the Bronze Peacock ballroom in Houston, as well as the Duke and Peacock record labels.
She recorded several singles for Robey and was regularly featured in local revues until the late 1960s, when times and musical trends changed. For the next couple of decades, White bounced between Austin and Houston before settling back in the capital city in the early 1990s, where she recorded three highly acclaimed CDs, Miss Lavelle, It Haven’t Been Easy, and Into the Mystic. Nominated for four W.C. Handy awards, reigning as The Austin Chronicle‘s Best Blues Act, and inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2006, Lavelle White is still one of Austin’s class acts. – Margaret Moser