"It almost seems funny, but the tougher the life of this person, the more it is bordered with barricades imposed by society, politics, a tough existence, the more the Moon will drive the imagination and the need to create in the world a small world that is only his, in which he is free to read, write, paint, travel, believe that true values are not lost by gathering around him intellectuals, artists, people of style and class"
Bettye LaVette “Cry Me A River” (1966, Unreleased. From Doctor Good Soul : A Rhythm ‘N’ Soul Compendium 1963-74)
Not as much the bad luck belter she’s often portrayed as, Bettye LaVette did have a good deal of success in the 1960’s on the R&B charts. And her sense of professionalism from her earliest days always bestowed good fortune in the way of producers willing to give her another recording contract, and the ability to tour constantly over the last 50 years since her first single release.
Her most poignant hit, “Let Me Down Easy” looked to open up more doors for her at Calla records, but two singles that came and went meant her option to renew was not extended for another year, and this beautiful demo, which seems far more an appropriate follow up to that song, got left in the vaults for 30+ years.