Ora Denise Allen (July 16, 1939 – January 8, 2018), known by the stage name Denise LaSalle, was an American blues and R&B/soul singer, songwriter, and record producer who, since the death of Koko Taylor, had been recognized as the "Queen of the Blues". Born near Sidon, Mississippi as the youngest of eight children to Nathaniel A. Allen, Sr. and Nancy Cooper. Her family worked as sharecroppers and she had to pick cotton and took up other labor jobs to support her family. She was raised in Belzoni (moving there at the age of 7), and sang in church choirs for local gospel groups around LeFlore County, before moving to Chicago in the early 1960s when she was aged 13, to live with her oldest brother. She sat in with R&B musicians and wrote songs, influenced by country music as well as the blues, before winning a recording contract with Chess Records in 1967.
Links To Peel
Peel mentioned on his 23 July 1985 show that he was a fan of Denise LaSalle's early work and wasn't that keen on her current hit My Toot Toot, which was a top ten UK hit single in that year. After Peel's death, it was found that he had two of her albums in his Record Collection: L.
- 23 July 1985: Breaking Up Somebody's Home (LP - Doin' It Right) Westbound
- 18 June 2002: 'Married But Not To Each Other (LP - If Loving You Is Wrong)' (Ace)
Top Of The Pops
- 11 July 1985 (TOTP): My Toot Toot