betty haskins

Bettye LaVette

Birth name: Betty Haskins

Born: January 29, 1946

Birthplace: Muskegon, Michigan (and raised in Detroit)

Bio note: LaVette is an American soul and R & B singer-songwriter, who recorded her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album, I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise.  Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rok & roll, funk, gospel, and country music, which has prevented her from being easily marketed.

Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not begin singing in the church, but in her parents’ living room, singing R & B and country & western music. She was signed by Johnnie Mae Matthews, a local record producer. In 1962, aged sixteen, she recorded a single, “My Man - He’s a Lovin’ Man”, with Matthews, which became a Top Ten R&B hit after Atlantic Records bought distribution rights. This led to a tour with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and then-newcomer Otis Redding.