Bettye LaVette has worked in show business since she scored a hit with her debut single, My Man Hes a Loving Man. She was 16 years old. Though shes an extraordinarily expressive vocalist and skilled interpreter of others songs, chart success has largely eluded her, despite a wealth of goosebump-raising releases. With the 59-year-olds latest, the dust-kicker Ive Got My Own Hell to Raise (on Anti- Records, home to Nick Cave, Merle Haggard and Neko Case), the worlds finally hip to what weve known for ages that Bettye LaVettes a treasure. Despite being buried by the demands of a 10-week tour, she still found time to share a few hometown monomanias.
5. Call [Survivor producer] Mark Burnett: Id like to make a television show of the [Detroit] City Council, because theyre a group of interesting people.
4. Thanksgiving: I am quite thankful for all that has happened to me. At least now I know I wont go unrecognized outside of Detroit.
3. Oh my achin back: I am very, very tired. More is going on for me now than has gone on my entire life. And when youre 60, getting off and on buses and planes, all the interviews are exhausting. Whether or not they just discovered me, Im 60. And if this would get on your mothers nerves, its getting on mine.
2. Detroit Public Schools: I wish they would do better, because my daughter is a teacher at Cody [High] and my grandchildren are students.
1. Slim Gem: I am still a Size 6, while many of my peers are not.
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