GRAMMY NOMINATED VOCALIST
ASCAP’s ABE OLMAN SCHOLARSHIP AWARD RECIPIENT
NAIRD AWARD RECIPIENT
Betty's mother recognized her
God-given talent when she was 3 years old. At the age of 4, (so young and
small her feet were unable to reach the piano pedals) she was being invited
to sing and accompany herself on piano at various churches in her home town,
Jackson, Michigan. By age 7, the church appointed her pianist for church
services as well as for the church choir. She continued to do so until age
17 when she got married. By the age of 19, she had 3 children and was
divorced (she later had one more child). Needless to say, she put all
dreams of a musical career on hold in order to raise her four children and
to maintain a job to support them.
One summer, when 3 of her 4 children were teenagers, a couple of her
musician friends convinced her to go with them to a night club at Lake James
in Indiana where they were playing, and eventually coaxed her to join them
on stage to sing a couple of songs. She loved singing and the audience
loved her. She did not go back to the club the following week; however,
there was such a demand for her that the owner of the night club asked the
musicians to have her call him. He offered her a job singing on weekends at
the club for the rest of the summer, which helped to put food on the table.
This was the beginning of her professional career.
Just when Betty seemed to be surviving the struggle of single parenting,
job, and career, her oldest son was killed in an automobile accident.
Needless to say, it was devastating. However, because of her Faith in God,
memories of her deceased son's love and his desire for her to 'make it in
the Music Business’, the Lord gave her the stamina to keep the dream alive.
Since then, Betty has performed throughout the United States, Hawaii,
Europe, Mexico, and Asia. She has worked with many wonderful musicians,
including the late Arthur Prysock with whom she recorded ‘A ROCKIN’ GOOD
WAY’ and received a Grammy Nomination, ‘THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU’, and
also appears on ‘THE BEST OF ARTHUR PRYSOCK’, all on Milestone/Fantasy
Label. She also sang and toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the
direction of the late Mercer Ellington, and has been requested to perform by the
one and only Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin on several occasions.
In 1996, she signed a Contract with Lake Street Records and recorded the
‘BLINDED BY LOVE’ CD, which was her only recording on that label.
In 2002, she did a performance with drummer / percussionist Leon Joyce, Jr
and bassist Larry Gray (both of the Ramsey Lewis Trio) and was so impressed
with their playing that she decided to go into the recording studio to
record again…..only this time, she formed her own label, Preserved Moments
Music, and asked Leon and Larry to record with her; later enlisting pianist
Larry Fuller (formerly of the Ray Brown Trio), and guitarist Rick Hicks to
join them. From this union came ‘VISIONS OF THE MOMENT’.