LaBelle Comprised of:
Patti LaBelle (b. Patricia Holte, 24th May 1944, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A)
Cynthia 'Cindy' Birdsong (b. 15th December 1939, Camden, New Jersey, U.S.A)
Wynona 'Nona' Hendryx (b. 9th October 1945, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A)
Sarah Dash (b. 24th May 1942, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A)
LaBelle were formed from two groups. The Ordettes and the Del Capri's.
Firstly two friends (Patti LaBelle and Cindy Birdsong), who sang together in a high school group, the Ordettes (line up featured: Patricia Holte, Sundray Tucker, Wynona 'Nona' Hendryx and Sarah Dash), merged with, another local attraction, the Del Capris (whose line-up included Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash).
Sundray Tucker was, originally, part of the Ordettes (when Tucker's parents made her leave the group, she was replaced by Cindy Birdsong).
Philadelphia producer Bobby Martin named the quartet after a local label, Bluebell Records, and the group became Patti LaBelle And The Blue-Belles after Patricia Holte had her name changed to Patti LaBelle.
sweethearts of the apollo / sleigh bells and jingle bells and bluebelles - 1963
Signing with Atlantic Records in 1965 the Blue-Belles recorded cover versions of the songs 'You'll Never Walk Alone', 'Over The Rainbow', 'Groovy Kind of Love' (later a hit for the Mindbenders), and 'Danny Boy'.
i sold my heart to the junkman / down the aisle - both 1965
They also released 'I Sold My Heart To The Junkman' and 'Down The Aisle (Wedding Song)'.
They also contributed background vocals to Wilson Pickett's hit '634-5789' in 1966.
British born, Vicki Wickham, a former producer on the U.K. television's cult show 'Ready Steady Go', became their manager and suggested the trio change their name to LaBelle (the older name was seen to belong to a byegone age of music).
gonna take a miracle - 1971 / nona hendryx and vicki wickham
Having supported the Who on a late 60's concert tour, LaBelle then accompanied Laura Nyro on 'Gonna Take A Miracle', a session that led to a solo album under their own name.At the time Labelle also contributed to Nikki Giovanni's song 'Peace Be Still'.
labelle - 1971 / moon shadow - 1972
In 1971 the group released 'Labelle' on Warner Brothers Records.
The album included covers of songs by the Rolling Stones, Kenny Rogers, Carole King and Laura Nyro.
The following year saw the release of 'Moon Shadow', which included cover versions of 'Moonshadow' (originally by Cat Stevens) and 'Won't Get Fooled Again' (originally by the Who).
pressure cookin' - 1973 / nightbirds - 1975
By 1973, a third album called 'Pressure Cookin' was released on RCA Records, which showcased Nona Hendryx's maturing songwriting capablilities.
By this time LaBelle had become as well known for their fashion sense, courting attention for their outlandish, highly visual stage costumes, as well as their particular form of R & B.
The group really came to the public's attention in 1975, with the Epic Records release of 'Nightbirds', an album which contained the pop hit 'Lady Marmalade'.
The song related the story of a New Orleans prostitute, asking potential customers 'Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir?' ('Do you want to go to bed with me, tonight?').
'Lady Marmalade' was produced by the late Allen Toussaint and composed by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan.
phoenix - 1975 / chameleon - 1976
'Phoenix' was released in 1975, and 'Chameleon' followed in 1976, following which the group went their seperate ways.
LaBelle owed much of its individuality to Nona Hendryx, who, in time, emerged as a highly inventive and distinctive composer.
In January 2006, Labelle reunited to record 'Dear Rosa', a tribute to the late civil rights champion Rosa Parks.
back to now - 2008
The group performed together again at the Apollo Theatre in New York City on the 19th December 2008.
as Patti LaBelle And The Blue-Belles:
Sweethearts Of The Apollo (Atlantic Records 1963)
Sleigh Bells, Jingle Belles (Atlantic Records 1963)
On Stage (Atlantic Records 1964)
Over The Rainbow (Atlantic Records 1966)
LaBelle (Warner Brothers 1971)
Moon Shadow (Warner Brothers 1972)
Pressure Cookin' (Warner Brothers 1973)
Nightbirds (Epic Records 1974)
Phoenix (Epic Records 1975)
Chameleon (Epic Records 1976)
Back To Now (Verve Records 2008)