It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Laura Nyro & LaBelle

The female trio responsible for the proto-disco funk classic "Lady Marmalade," LaBelle's outlandish space-age costumes and brash incorporation of rock & roll were a far cry from their early days as a typical '60s girl group, not to mention the later solo career of frontwoman Patti LaBelle. While Patti naturally seems like the focal point in hindsight, the group was also blessed with a talented and prolific songwriter in Nona Hendryx, who followed an idiosyncratic muse into her own mercurial solo career, which often bordered on the avant-garde.

The group's first incarnation was that of a quartet. Friends Patricia Holt and Cindy Birdsong had been singing together in a Philadelphia group called the Ordettes, and in 1962 they teamed up with Wynona "Nona" Hendryx and Sarah Dash, both members of a rival outfit called the Del Capris. At the suggestion of producer Bobby Martin, Holt changed her last name to LaBelle to match with the group's official name, the BlueBelles. Strangely enough, Patti LaBelle & the BlueBelles may not have even performed on their first hit; a group called the Starlets cut a single called "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman," which was released with the name the Blue-Belles on the label. Some accounts hold that the Starlets actually backed LaBelle, or that her vocal was overlaid, while others suggest that the lead voice wasn't LaBelle's at all. Whatever the case, "I Sold My Heart to the Junkman" became a Top 20 R&B and pop hit in 1962, and the BlueBelles started touring the R&B circuit behind it. Their next hit came in 1963 with the dramatic ballad "Down the Aisle," another R&B Top 20, and they hit the Top 40 again in 1964 with renditions of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the Irish standard "Danny Boy," solidifying their penchant for sentimental, classic-style pop.

In 1965, the BlueBelles signed with major label Atlantic, and had some success with a version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," which remained in Patti LaBelle's concert repertoire for decades. Despite cutting an early version of "Groovy Kind of Love" (later a number one hit for the Mindbenders, not to mention Phil Collins), though, the BlueBelles' tenure wasn't as commercially productive as hoped. Cindy Birdsong left in 1967 to replace Florence Ballard in the Supremes, permanently reducing the group to a trio. With no real hits forthcoming, Atlantic wound up dropping them in 1969. In search of a makeover, they hired former British television producer Vicki Wickham (the music series Ready, Steady, Go!) as their new manager and producer in 1970. Wickham remade the group for the '70s, shortening their name to LaBelle and pushing them into a more contemporary fusion of R&B and rock; plus, the advent of glam rock suggested a new direction for their stage act, and the trio donned outrageous, space-themed costumes replete with glitter, silver, and/or feathers. LaBelle opened for the Who on an American tour and sang backup on singer/songwriter Laura Nyro's acclaimed R&B-themed album Gonna Take a Miracle in 1971.

Signing with Warner Brothers, the revamped LaBelle made their debut in 1971 with an eponymous album that featured soul treatments of rock and pop material by the likes of Nyro, the Rolling Stones, Kenny Rogers, and Carole King. The follow-up, 1972's Moonshadow, featured the Cat Stevens-penned title track and the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again," and also included more material written by Nona Hendryx. Neither album was all that commercially successful, and they left Warner to record one album for RCA, 1973's Pressure Cookin', where Hendryx's writing constituted the vast majority of the record. In 1974, LaBelle signed with Epic, and the label sent them to New Orleans to record with famed producer Allen Toussaint. The result, Nightbirds, featured the deeply funky single "Lady Marmalade," an ode to a New Orleans prostitute with the indelible French chorus "voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?" ("you want to go to bed with me tonight?"). Penned by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, "Lady Marmalade" shot to number one on both the pop and R&B charts in early 1975, sending Nightbirds into the Top Ten and making it LaBelle's first gold album.

"Lady Marmalade" proved to be a tough act to follow. Despite four more charting R&B singles over the next two years, nothing duplicated the phenomenon of LaBelle's first major hit. 1975's Phoenix and 1976's Chameleon were relative commercial disappointments, even though they featured some of the group's finest vocal performances, plus increasingly ambitious and sophisticated writing by Hendryx. In fact, Hendryx's vision was pulling her away from the rest of LaBelle, and by the end of 1976, the group had disbanded to pursue solo careers. Hendryx immediately began recording in a funk-rock hybrid, and in the early '80s drifted into downtown New York's avant-garde scene, where she worked often with Bill Laswell; her solo records were sometimes accessible and frequently challenging. Patti LaBelle, of course, went on to a hugely successful and long-lived career as an R&B hitmaker with adult contemporary appeal, scoring hits like "New Attitude" and the number one Michael McDonald duet "On My Own." As for Sarah Dash, she made several solo albums that failed to attract much attention, but found her way into the Rolling Stones' sphere by the late '80s, working as a backup singer on both solo and group projects. Over 30 years following their breakup, the trio got back together to make 2008's Back to Now for the Verve label. Gamble & Huff, Lenny Kravitz, and Wyclef Jean were just a few of those who were involved in the sessions. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Always come back to the Voice of Laura
malpelir
Grew up in Queens. had a friend who attended Music and Art with Laura. I had a crush on her from day 1. 45 years later, this lady is still the epitome of music. And the crush lives on, stronget than ever.
Laura had such talent and her music is as vibrant as it was in the 70's. love Spanish Harlem song
Why do they not play her songs more?
Laura, you still get me through....
Miss you so....
why did light have to burn out so soon? love you and bless you, Laura
Finally made the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Shame on them for not recognizing her sooner.
She's incredible. voice gives me chills. and SO underrated!
Been a fan since 1972 upon my return from an overseas tour, all of her music is beautiful.
eonchontay
Laura,
You are in our hearts forever. Thank you for the music.
kmounds
Laura
saw you live at the egg in albany ny, great concert! we still love you
kmounds
Laura is the east coast vocal goddess like Joni Mitchell was on the west coast while residing in Laurel Canyon. Laura's soaring vocals & intimate lyrics about Tom Cats and her beloved New York City are haunting & she is just in a league unto herself. Her vocal phrasing with piercing soprano elevations and womanly whispers are otherwordly when testisfying her marvelous frank lyrics. So unrecognized as a major artist but her time will come but her legions of fantical fans will always carry Laura i
starami8
Miss you Miss Laura!!!!
I love her from the bottom of my heat and always will.
Her voice is like a bird singing in my ear. It also reminds me of my late wife who also loved her.
I could never get enough of Ms Nyro. I saw her in concert at Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY and was absolutely blown away. She lives on in the music after leaving us with an impressive collection of work. Love you, Girl!
rhcordova
Laura Nyro is the best! Imagine if she had made music her whole short life. Ive been listening to her amazing voice since 1970.
I just love listening to her music, been a fan since late 60's up to the end of my life..
rpaeper
I can't get her out of my head, so I feel that I can listen to her forever even though she died so early and tragically, like Gilda Radner.
I have to say that Laura Nyro is my all time favorite and it saddens me so that I never got to meet her. She just touches my soul and has since I first heard her at age 13. I wonder if her child is a musician today. I wouldn't doubt it for a minute. Does anyone now if she had a son or daughter? Are they playing music?
the best there was.
Love the ststion; just wanted to change it to Laura Nyro without LaBelle to give it added versatility. I really like this sation. It gives me a sense of nostalgic importance. The best music machine I've ever listened to. Ha. I wonder why?
Keep em comin Dennis Johnson

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[114, 72, 105, 78, 64, 105, 79, 127, 118, 100, 115, 118, 106, 90, 71, 97, 126, 90, 76, 95, 127, 110, 88, 104, 91, 76, 94, 127, 79, 65, 112, 104, 118, 99, 107, 104, 81, 120, 98, 94, 74, 89, 107, 104, 115, 66, 70, 110, 96, 96, 116, 82, 91, 101, 66, 94, 101, 109, 106, 64, 113, 105, 74, 93, 64, 100, 97, 111, 121, 112, 111, 124, 99, 74, 65, 101, 81, 122, 98, 82, 100, 67, 89, 68, 83, 115, 127, 119, 71, 127, 64, 86, 114, 83, 97, 83, 98, 106, 123, 89, 116, 127, 91, 71, 70, 73, 116, 72, 80, 86, 71, 66, 74, 85, 116, 69, 106, 78, 124, 93, 76, 66, 104, 69, 104, 98, 102, 103, 87, 75, 110, 73, 66, 72, 88, 68, 122, 115, 105, 102, 73, 116, 76, 103, 123, 116, 113, 122, 113, 86, 69, 69, 75, 126, 104, 68, 79, 76, 74, 107, 109, 82, 86, 73, 113, 73, 82, 85, 66, 92, 112, 88, 106, 77, 90, 125, 65, 93, 74, 127, 68, 113, 116, 73, 115, 68, 102, 76, 75, 89, 76, 97, 73, 90, 93, 76, 102, 81, 112, 74, 125, 78, 95, 126, 67, 124, 109, 95, 98, 72, 64, 118, 103, 113, 65, 81, 71, 84, 120, 116, 69, 78, 105, 115, 96, 65, 73, 96, 66, 72, 122, 80, 75, 124, 79, 85, 123, 124, 123, 85, 68, 86, 68, 76, 69, 114, 72, 114, 104, 74, 100, 117, 126, 119, 76, 76, 87, 72, 74, 121, 76, 68, 127, 106, 75, 79, 110, 75, 71, 100, 114, 86, 66, 65, 119, 98, 126, 74, 97, 102, 92, 108, 65, 106, 121, 107, 92, 104, 77, 123, 111, 92, 110, 121, 115, 68, 98, 98, 118, 103, 78, 92, 101, 80, 68, 111, 89, 115, 106, 98, 122, 108, 91, 66, 83, 71, 90, 103, 81, 124, 77, 75, 97, 104, 127, 107, 69, 85, 101, 89, 120, 100, 79, 68, 70, 97, 72, 118, 84, 89, 98, 105, 66, 67, 88, 79, 69, 76, 91, 98, 95, 97, 113, 112, 123, 67, 92, 70, 104, 85, 68, 106, 74, 108, 105, 94, 84, 81, 110, 72, 114, 84, 65, 117, 79, 86, 89, 84, 93, 101, 119, 123, 107, 82, 103, 65, 112, 93, 74, 112, 98, 72, 81, 121, 74, 67, 115, 107, 88, 68, 117, 87, 113, 109, 102, 114, 95, 125, 122, 114, 78, 76, 111, 98, 89, 109, 102, 79, 76, 93, 116, 127, 126, 92, 84, 114, 69, 75, 118, 69, 83, 109, 124, 90, 67, 89, 114, 74, 72, 111, 81, 87, 68, 89, 64, 88, 97, 73, 73, 116, 64, 100, 97, 118, 79, 85, 123, 107, 117, 66, 102, 107, 122, 116, 117, 71, 104, 125, 74, 87, 76, 69, 119, 79, 80, 84, 114, 106, 124, 77, 94, 108, 82, 122, 81, 88, 84, 89, 74, 74, 95, 87, 80, 84, 99, 92, 89, 116, 120, 112, 79, 72, 94, 121, 107, 86, 76, 110, 94, 65, 89, 90]