The Claude Mono Blog

Betty Harris in Perth
April 3, 2009, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized



Betty Harris plays in Perth at the Fly By Night on Sat 25 April and Claude has a warm up spot so gets in for free…better still there’s going to be some Sugar Blue Burlesque – be early and come say hello…

About Betty…

After having been mentored by blues chanteuse, Big Maybelle, Betty’s recording debut in 1963 yielded “Cry to Me”, an R&B top ten hit and now a deep soul classic. Betty then moved to New Orleans where she worked throughout the 1960s with legendary crescent city producer Allen Toussaint, producing some of the grittiest femme funk and soul ever laid down (back by the Meters) including “Break in the Road”, “Mean Man” and “Love Lots of Lovin” (with Lee Dorsey) all backed by the legendary Meters band.

In 1970, Betty Harris disappeared without a trace. The Betty Harris mystery became a mission for soul and funk aficionados. Rumours abounded that she had become an interstate truck driver, was living in New York or had died.

In 2004, Betty Harris, tired of the speculation, posted a message on a southern soul internet forum revealing that she had been living in Connecticut the whole time raising a family. Betty had abandoned show business in disgust at her treatment at the hands of record companies, including having being denied royalties and having her recording masters stolen (which she has recently and famously won back).

The excitement caused by her rediscovery led to Betty being booked on the high profile Ponderosa Stomp show in New Orleans, her first public performance in 25 years. Her next stop was Melbourne, Australia in 2005, for a New Orleans Hurricane Benefit where, despite being unpaid, she stole the show with a mesmerising performance ranked by The Age as one of the top ten shows of the year). Due to the massive acclaim from the benefit show, she returned to Melbourne in 2006 and played to a packed house of 1000 punters.

Betty Harris’ phenomenal comeback has been assured by her inclusion on various soul and funk compilations including Saturday Night Fish Fry, Funk Soul Sisters, Voodoo Soul and New Orleans Funk (including the cover of Soul Jazz Records’ New Orleans Funk Vol. 2).

Australia has become a second home to Betty Harris. She has sold out the Prince of Wales in Melbourne and tore the house down as the highlight of the 2006 Queenscliff Music Festival. Betty’s incredible voice and stage presence are as thrilling as ever. Betty comes from the throaty, gospel tradition of Etta James, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. This is the anti-Motown – bad-ass, gut-bucket soul and funk that gets you moving and then breaks your heart. The Soul Queen of New Orleans was once lost, but now she is found.


Betty Harris Flyer

Betty Harris Flyer

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