Friday, November 21, 2008

November 21, 2008: Betty Davis - "If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up"

The other day I called Bobbie Gentry's "Mississippi Delta" the funkiest song I had ever heard a white woman record. So, who is the funkiest woman to make a record, period? That would be the incredible Betty Davis.

Betty Davis, ex-wife of Miles, is credited with introducing her legendary husband to funk and rock, and personally introducing him to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone. She laid the foundation for his jazz-fusion masterpiece Bitches Brew, and is widely speculated as being the subject in the album title.

"If I'm In Luck I Might Get Picked Up" leads off Betty's self-titled 1973 debut LP, which utilized Larry Graham and the rest of the Sly & The Family Stone rhythm section. As with all three of her albums, it was completely written and produced by Betty. Despite her star-studded supporting cast and background, the world was apparently not ready for Betty's controversial, sexually charged music and image in the early '70s, as none of her releases achieved anything more than cult-classic status at the time.

Last year, Light In the Attic Records reissued Betty's first two albums (Betty Davis and They Say I'm Different). The third, Nasty Gal, remains out of print. According to the Light In the Attic website at the time of reissues' release, Betty was broke on the streets of Pittsburgh. So, if you like what you're hearing, do her a favor and buy a record or two.

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