Monday, July 17, 2017

Southern Soul Blues Singer Denise LaSalle - "Now Run And Tell That"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about Southern Soul Blues singer Denise LaSalle and showcases a YouTube sound file of Ms. LaSalle's singing her composition "Now Run Tell That". Lyrics for Denise LaSalle's "Now Run Tell That" are also included in this post.

The Addendum to this post presents information that Denise LaSalle shared with journalist/writer David Whitesis about how she came up with the title for that song. David Whitesis shared that information with me via email and gave me permission to post it in this blog.

The Addendum also provides information about writer David Whiteis and his one of his books on African American music Southern Soul Blues.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

My thanks to Denise LaSalle for her musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

Special thanks to David Whiteis for his research and his writing and for sharing information with me about the saying "Run Go Tell That".
This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series on the phrase "Go tell it" as it pertains to African American music.

Click for Part I of a four part series on "Go Tell It On The Mountain". That posts features information and text only examples of the "Christmas" version of that Spiritual. Links to the three other posts in that series are included in that post. Other posts in that series showcase examples of this song as sung by Mahalia Jackson, civil rights versions of that song as sung by Peter Paul and Mary and by civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer, and an adaptation of this song as sung by the Wailers.

"Ora Denise Allen (born July 16, 1939),… known by the stage name Denise LaSalle, is an American blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who, since the death of Koko Taylor, has been recognized as the "Queen of the Blues".[3]

Born near Sidon, Mississippi[4] and raised in Belzoni, she sang in church choirs before moving to Chicago in the early 1960s. She sat in with R&B musicians and wrote songs, influenced by country music as well as the blues, before winning a recording contract with Chess Records in 1967. Her first single, "A Love Reputation" was a modest regional hit.[5]

She established an independent production company, Crajon, with her then husband Bill Jones.[5] Her song "Trapped By A Thing Called Love" (1971) was released on Detroit-based Westbound Records. This reached #1 on the national R&B chart and #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song ranked at #85 on the 1971 year-end chart. The RIAA gold disc award was made on November 30, 1971 for a million sales.[6]

She also wrote successful follow-ups, "Now Run And Tell That" and "Man Sized Job" which made #3 and #4 in the R&B Top Ten and also charted in the Hot 100. Her early hits were recorded at the Hi recording studios in Memphis, operated by Willie Mitchell, using the cream of southern session players. She continued to have hits on Westbound and then on ABC Records through the mid-1970s, including "Love Me Right" (#10 R&B, #80 pop) She continued to produce and perform live. Her co-penned song, "Married, But Not to Each Other" (#16 R&B) was included in the 1979 The Best of Barbara Mandrell, compilation album.

In the early 1980s, she signed as a singer and songwriter with Malaco Records, for whom she released a string of critically acclaimed albums over more than 20 years, starting with Lady in the Street (1983) and Right Place, Right Time (1984). Both albums became major successes among soul blues, R&B and soul fans and on urban radio stations. In 1985, she enjoyed her only recognition in the UK Singles Chart, when her cover version of Rockin' Sidney's, "My Toot Toot", reached #6.[7]

LaSalle appeared at the 1984 and 1993 versions of the Long Beach Blues Festival, and also in 1993, she performed at the San Francisco Blues Festival. Her album Smokin' In Bed (1997) sold well.[5] After more than a decade away, when she recorded three albums with small Memphis-based soul-blues label, Ecko, she returned to Malaco for her 2010 outing called "24 Hour Woman". She continues to work as a live performer, particularly at festivals, and more recently has branched out into the gospel genre. In 2011, she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.[8]


In 2013 and 2014, LaSalle was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the 'Soul Blues Female Artist' category.[12][13] On June 6, 2015, LaSalle was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame."...

(Denise LaSalle)

Every big city man,
Run around town, just...
Even tellin' how he loves,
A man'll put him down, yes...

How he gets what he wants,
Then he'll blow your mind,
Aww, but baby, you met your match this time, yeah yeah.

Hey hey, Mr. Playboy,
Hey Romeo,
It broke your heart,
If I let you go.

You been tellin' everybody where it's at.
Now run and tell that.
(Run on)
That's what you're gonna do.
(Run and tell that)

You say you never met a girl,
That you couldn't win,
That's what you said.

And if you been there once,
You can go back again,
Oh yes you did.

But ain't no two-timin',
Bone-crushin', sweet-talkin' John,
No, baby,
Gonna get my love and then,
Turn it wrong.

Hey hey, Mr. Playboy,
Hey Romeo,
It hurt you bad,
If I let you go.

You been tellin' everybody where it's at.
Now run and tell that.
(Run on)
That's what you better do now.
(Run and tell that)

You said you were the greatest man alive, yeah.
But I made up my mind to put you down in size, oh yeah.
I'll put somethin' on your mind,
You'll never forget, no baby.

I've got you walking in a daze,
You ain't recovered yet, no.

Hey hey, Mr. Big Stuff,
Hey Romeo,
You can tell the world,
That I told you so,
That I was gonna show you where it's at.

You been tellin' everybody where it's at.
Now run and tell that.
(Run on)
Now run on...
(Run and tell that)


In Denise LaSalle's song "Now Run And Tell That" the command “Now Run and tell that” is said tauntingly. Another way of saying that is "I just told you off.* Now go tell others what I said- if you dare (since it will make you look bad).
*"to tell somebody off= to speak angrily to someone because they have done something wrong":

SHOWCASE EXAMPLE- Legends of Vinyl™LLC Presents Denise Lasalle - Now Run And Tell That 1972

legendsofvinylTM Published on May 17, 2014
Legends of Vinyl, Strictly Vinyl Events & Luis Mario's DJ Entertainment - New York & South Florida's Choice for DJ entertainment proudly present.
Here's a comment from this sound file's discussion thread:
Lancashire AGoGo, 2016
"thisi is part of that isnt it, so4t of Southern style big sounds with a hint of gospel in vogue around 72,73."

Excerpt of David Whiteis' email to Azizi Powell [July 6, 2017]
..."Remember our discussion about Denise LaSalle's song, "Run and Tell That"? Well, I'm currently working with Ms. LaSalle on her autobiography, and as it turns out, she didn't quite get that title from where we thought she did. Here's her story about it:

“It was a phrase from a newsman in Chicago. During that time, you know, it was a lot of Civil Rights movement going on, a lot of Black folk runnin’, tellin’ white folk what Black folk said they gonna do, a lot of meetings where everybody’s trying to figure a way how to get out from under the oppression. Black people had finally come to grips, to 'I ain't taking this sh&t* no more.' And they had meetings, they’d call a meeting to talk about what they were going to do to get – what they call him, we had a name for white folk – Mister Charlie – they had Black folk, Uncle Toms when they run to the white folk, and the white folk was Mister Charlie. And they was just trying to keep – they wanted to have their little say among themselves, try to use that on Mister Charlie. But you got some Black people would come to the meetings, and hear what they were talking about, and go back and tell Mister Charlie, okay?

So they got this thing going, where this guy would get on the radio, and say, 'We as a people are going to do this, and we’re going to do that,' and he didn’t mind saying what they gon’ do; he wasn’t trying to be in no private meeting to tell – he said, 'We are going to do this. We are going to stick together, and we are going to do this and that.' He said, 'Now run and tell that!' That’s where it came from. He would always end every commentary he would do, on WVON in Chicago, with 'Now, run and tell that!' He was a crippled old, crippled Black man – his name was Roy Wood. He would use that "Run and tell that," and I kept liking to hear it. I liked what it meant, and I just said I would start working on a song with that. That’s where that came from."

Until now, every time I've heard that song I've thought about our earlier conversation about its spiritual/gospel roots. I'm sure that's where Roy Wood got the phrase from, but Denise got it from him!
Thought you'd find this interesting . . ."
-end of email excerpt
*This word was fully spelled out in that comment.

Here's some information about David Whiteis and one of his books Southern Soul Blues:
"Attracting passionate fans primarily among African American listeners in the South, Southern Soul draws on such diverse influences as the blues, 1960s-era Deep Soul, contemporary R & B, neosoul, rap, hip-hop, and gospel. Aggressively danceable, lyrically evocative, and fervidly emotional, Southern Soul songs often portray unabashedly carnal themes, and audiences delight in the performer-audience interaction and communal solidarity at live performances.

Examining the history and development of Southern Soul from its modern roots in the 1960s and 1970s, David Whiteis highlights some of Southern Soul's most popular and important entertainers and provides first-hand accounts from the clubs, show lounges, festivals, and other local venues where these performers work. Profiles of veteran artists such as Denise LaSalle, the late J. Blackfoot, Latimore, and Bobby Rush—as well as other contemporary artists T. K. Soul, Ms. Jody, Sweet Angel, Willie Clayton, and Sir Charles Jones—touch on issues of faith and sensuality, artistic identity and stereotyping, trickster antics, and future directions of the genre. These revealing discussions, drawing on extensive new interviews, also acknowledge the challenges of striving for mainstream popularity while still retaining the cultural and regional identity of the music and of maintaining artistic ownership and control in the age of digital dissemination."...

From Southern Soul-Blues
• Best History for Best Research in Recorded Blues, Hip-Hop, Rhythm & Blues, Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), 2014
• Blues Book of the Year, Critics' Poll, Living Blues magazine, 2014


David Whiteis is an author, freelance writer, and educator living in Chicago. He is the author of Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories, and his articles and reviews have appeared in Living Blues, The Chicago Reader, Down Beat, Juke Blues, Jazz Times, and elsewhere. Southern Soul Blues won the Best Blues Book of 2013 in Living Blues magazine's critics poll."

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