A Woman Like Me
By Bettye LaVette with David Ritz
As a teenager in Detroit, Bettye LaVette had a hit single with “My Man—He’s a Lovin’ Man.” By the time she was 20, she had faded back into obscurity and was barely surviving in New York City. Bettye LaVette’s career has been a one-of-a-kind roller-coaster ride through the world of music; it has taken her from the peaks to the pits and back. In this unflinchingly honest memoir, she boldly recounts her freewheeling childhood—her parents ran an illegal liquor business out of their living room, which was frequented by some of the top acts of the 40s and 50s—her short-lived conquest of the R&B world in the 1960s, her decline into poverty and despair, and her recent comeback and career revival, with two Grammy-nominated CDs and numerous appearances on major television talk shows. Poignant, brazen, and fearless, A Woman Like Me is a tour de force from one of the most outspoken female performers singing today—and she’s a force to be reckoned with.
About the Author
Bettye LaVette (born Betty Jo Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American rhythm-and-blues singer who made her first record at sixteen but achieved only intermittent fame until 2003 and her album A Woman Like Me. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music. Her live performances consistently receive rave reviews, and her albums The Scene of the Crime and Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook have been
nominated for Grammy Awards. She has been a guest on national radio and television programs. LaVette lives in New Jersey with her husband, Kevin Kiley, and their three cats, Otis, Smokey, and Jeremy.
David Ritz has been described by The New York Times as “the first-call celebrity collaborator.” He has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to Don Rickles.
Sounds of Soul: “The Curator” Spins Motown
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 8:00 pm
Harmony Brewing Company – 1551 Lake Drive SE
Join us at Harmony Brewing Company in Eastown where Steven Edelman, aka The Curator, will be spinning from his vast collection of vintage Motown and soul albums. Part of Harmony’s Vinyl Thursdays, this listening party will feature the sounds of Michigan’s very own Bettye LaVette and her peers in the format best suited for soul—the vinyl LP.
REVUE Presents: The Life of a Music Journalist
Monday, July 15, 2013, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library Street NE
The film Almost Famous made a rock journalist’s life look glamorous, gritty, and downright awesome. But those were the 70s, and we’re living in the 2010s. Rock journalism may be different (and possibly has less debauchery), but it’s still exciting. Come listen to professional (and local!) rock journalists Brian J. Bowe, Bill Holdship, Lindsay Patton-Carson, and John Sinkevics share their stories and give insights on what it’s like to talk to rock stars for a living.
Hitsville U.S.A.: Detroit and the Rise of Motown Records
Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library Street NE
In the 1960s and 1970s, Motown introduced mainstream America to African-American artists and groups such as the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Diana Ross and the Supremes, and Stevie Wonder. Along with a great number of other talented performers, many of these artists grew up in or moved to Detroit. The challenges and opportunities faced by African-Americans in the Motor City is reflected in the development of Motown Records and the broad array of other performers that called the city home. As the “Sound of Young America,” Motown also reflected the growth of the Civil Rights Movement both nationally and in Detroit, the changes in Detroit, and the turmoil of the 1960s as a whole. Dr. Matthew Daley will trace the development of Motown Records during the 1950s and 1960s as Detroit experienced profound changes that helped shaped the style and message of its artists.