It was 1974 and Disco Clubs were filling up every night with sweaty dancers when LADY MARMALADE by Patti LaBelle and the Bluebells hit the street. The song was written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, and reflected Bob's experience in New Orleans with sex workers. an early effort by The Eleventh Hour went no where.
So back we go to The Big Easy and the brilliant Producer Allen Toussaint who was working with Patti, Nona Hendryx, and Sarah Dash on their first album for Epic. When he heard the song he knew that it could be perfect for Patti and the girls, produced with a New Orleans attitude and beat. It's a song about a Prostitute and the hook was a French phrase known to every High Schooler who took the Language: "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?" (English: "Would you like to sleep with me tonight?").
Patti, perhaps disingenuously, has always denied knowing about the translation. Lady Marmalade was all over both Top 40 and R&B Radio, not to mention the Dance Clubs, and went #1 in both formats selling well over a million units. That would be the peak for the Bluebells and two years later Patti went solo. We'll look at that period of her career on a future post, but she became a Superstar. She went on to have one of the longest and most successful careers in the industry.
As you'll see in this beautifully done video with HD Picture and CD sound, the group was sensational performing Live in colorful costumes, and tore up the room. @therealdonrocks