Denise LaSalle Biography

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Denise Craig, 16 July 1939, LeFlore County, Mississippi, USA. Having moved to Chicago in 1954 to pursue a career as a fiction writer, LaSalle turned to songwriting and by the late 60s had begun to record for Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson’s Tarpon label, on which she achieved a sizeable local hit, ‘A Love Reputation’, in 1967. In 1969, she formed Crajon productions with her husband, Bill Jones, and also began working with producer Willie Mitchell in Memphis. After a period writing and producing for other artists, LaSalle returned to recording her own compositions, and one of the first results, ‘Trapped By A Thing Called Love’, released not on her own label but on Westbound in 1971, reached number 1 in the US R&B charts and climbed to the US pop Top 20. Several excellent, sometimes uncompromising, singles followed, including ‘Man Sized Job’ (1972), ‘Married, But Not To Each Other’ (1976) and ‘What It Takes To Get A Good Woman’ (1973). A stylist in the mould of Laura Lee, Ann Peebles and Millie Jackson, LaSalle continued to enjoy hits during the late 70s, but is now better known for her 1985 UK Top 10 novelty hit, ‘My Toot Toot’. Her 1997 album Smokin’ In Bed was an unexpected commercial success.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.