ABC Longhorn Moving lends a Helping Hand to International Music Icon Miss Lavelle White
On July 25, 2013, Bev Shaw of the non-profit organization H.O.M.E (Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers) contacted ABC Longhorn Moving about a possible discount for services to move international music icon and Austin resident, Miss Lavelle White. After learning about her situation, Mary Kopp, longtime owner of ABC Longhorn Moving, offered to move Ms. White at no charge. She said “it would be our honor to help Ms. White move to her new home, and we’re happy we can provide services to assist such an amazing Austinite and music icon.”
On Thursday, August 1st, ABC Longhorn Movers showed up on Miss White’s doorstep with smiles on their faces, and a T-shirt for her to autograph. The move went very well despite the August heat, and Miss White was very gracious and feisty as she is well known for in music circles.
For most of her life, White has been wowing audiences around the world and in Austin with her voice and charm. Recently, the 84-year-old singer and songwriter was living with her cousin in Louisiana. Her cousin passed away in 2012, and White came back to Austin but found herself without a place to call home.
“Everything had just gotten real bad with me, so I stay around from friend to friend from here to there,” White said.
After hearing what White was going through, longtime friends and Austin music icons Shelley King and Marcia Ball stepped in to help and created a non-profit organization called HOME with others in the local music scene. The hope is that Austin will step up to support HOME and keep White and others who’ve spent their lives making Austin the Live Music Capital of the World from being left out on the streets. See KVUE interview for more details: http://www.kvue.com/home/Finding-a-HOME-for-a-longtime-Austin-musician-165188396.html
Miss Lavelle White (84) is an American Texas blues and soul blues singer and songwriter. After performing most of her adult lifetime, White released three albums, the first of which was issued in 1994 when she was aged 65.
White was born in Amite City, Louisiana, United States, the daughter of sharecropper parents. She started to write poetry at the age of 12, which led her to song writing, and singing gospel songs. White relocated to Houston, Texas, at the age of 15, and started to perform in that city’s blues clubs with the guitarist Clarence Hollimon. Her break came when Johnny Copeland recommended her to Don Robey, the owner of the Duke and Peacock record labels. She was then billed as ‘Miss La-Vell’. White recorded fourteen tracks, released as a number of singles on Duke, between 1958 and 1964. These included “If I Could Be with You,” “Just Look at You Fool,” “Stop These Teardrops,” and “The Tide of Love.” Several of her songs were self penned, a process of writing that has lasted most of her lifetime. Under the pseudonym of Deadric Malone, White also wrote Bobby Bland’s “Lead Me On”, which was a hit in 1960. She appeared in local revues up to the late 1960s.
She toured across the United States when her recording contract expired. In the 1960s White shared musical stages with many musicians including Bland, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, Junior Parker, Aretha Franklin and Jerry Butler. White moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1978, where she appeared at various clubs and worked with Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks and Buddy Guy, before returning to Houston eight years later. White was later voted Houston’s Blues Artist Of The Year. She relocated again and became a regular performer around the Austin, Texas area, including a residency at Antone’s.
However, her debut album was not released until 1994, when Miss Lavelle was issued on the Antone’s label. It was her first recording for almost 30 years. White appeared at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1995. She has also performed at the Houston International Festival. Her second album was It Haven’t Been Easy (1997). Both albums featured guitar work from her former performing colleague, Clarence Hollimon. The same year, White appeared with Delbert McClinton on the television program, Austin City Limits. Her third album, Into the Mystic, was released in 2003.
She has been nominated four times for a Blues Music Award, and in 2006 was inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. The same year her ensemble was voted the Best Blues Band in The Austin Chronicle Music Awards. White recently appeared at the Ponderosa Stomp music festival.
About H.O.M.E (Housing Opportunities for Musicians and Entertainers)
HOME is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing housing aid and assistance for musicians based in Austin TX. HOME is fiscally sponsored by Austin Creative Alliance, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that supports emerging arts organizations in Austin. Fiscal sponsorship refers to the practice of non-profit organizations like Austin Creative Alliance offering their legal and tax-exempt status to groups engaged in activities related to the organization’s mission. For more information, please visit www.austincreativealliance.org.