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Always the Queen
Always the Queen by David Whiteis
by David Whiteis


 
Paperback.
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Champaign, IL | University of Illinois Press (pub. June 22, 2021)

Paperback.

Denise LaSalle's journey took her from rural Mississippi to an unquestioned reign as the queen of soul-blues. From her early R&B classics to bold and bawdy demands for satisfaction, LaSalle updated the classic blueswoman's stance of powerful independence while her earthy lyrics about relationships connected with generations of female fans. Off-stage, she enjoyed ongoing success as a record label owner, entrepreneur, and genre-crossing songwriter.

As honest and no-nonsense as the artist herself, Always the Queen is LaSalle's in-her-own-words story of a lifetime in music. Moving to Chicago as a teen, LaSalle launched a career in gospel and blues that eventually led to the chart-topping 1971 smash ”Trapped by a Thing Called Love” and a string of R&B hits. She reinvented herself as a soul-blues artist as tastes changed and became a headliner on the revitalized southern soul circuit and at festivals nationwide and overseas. Revered for a tireless dedication to her music and fans, LaSalle continued to tour and record until shortly before her death.

Denise LaSalle (1934–2018) was a soul and blues singer-songwriter and businesswoman. Her songs include ”Trapped by a Thing Called Love,” ”Married, but Not to Each Other,” and the modern-day soul-blues standards ”A Lady in the Street,” ”Don't Jump My Pony,” and ”Someone Else Is Steppin' In.” LaSalle entered the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2015. David Whiteis is a journalist, writer, and educator living in Chicago. His books include Blues Legacy: Tradition and Innovation in Chicago and Southern Soul-Blues.

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