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Wednesday Night is the Night: Betty Wright at Billie’s Black

January 17, 2011

I remember very clearly when I was first introduced to the sounds of one Miss Betty Wright. I was in college, riding back from an exciting trip to the local Wal-Mart with my friend Felysha when the live version of “Tonight is the Night” came on the radio. Felysha, not being someone who readily gets into music, knew every word, every lyric. I was confused, so as soon as the song went off, we discussed. Apparently, when Felysha was a child this was her favorite song. Not because a nine-year-old could comprehend what Betty’s interpretation of “becoming a woman” was and not because it was “forbidden” and she was excited to be listening to something she shouldn’t. No, this was Felysha’s favorite song because it was pretty and catchy and she liked the way it sounded. This was Felysha’s favorite song because it was about a girl becoming a woman and, well, she was a girl and would day be a woman. “Tonight is the Night” was her favorite. And soon it became one of my favorites. After hearing that story, of course I had to do my research and buy a few selected pieces from the Betty Wright catalog.


Why did you need to hear/read all of that? Really, I guess you didn’t, but it was a good story, so consider yourselves lucky that you got to read it. Now, on with the show.


Betty Wright: the one, the only, the legend, the show-stopper, will be gracing the stage at Billie’s Black this Wednesday night (January 19, 2011) as a part of the promotional push for her Grammy-nominated songGo!” (Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance). The event doubles as a fund-raiser for the Mary J. Blige/Steve Stoute organization for young women, FFAWN (Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now). The “Clean Up Woman” will do a short question and answer session, as well as play a few tracks from her current album. She will finish off with a special performance of the Grammy-nominee itself, “Go!”


Wright recently signed with S-Curve Records (Joss Stone, Little Jackie), which has a distribution deal with Universal Music Group.


Tickets are $20, which includes a Happy Hour cocktail. Ten dollars from each ticket goes to FFAWN. Billie’s Black is a small, intimate space, so it is perfect for a Q&A session, but you definitely should get there on time. The place will definitely be full; you don’t want to be left out in the cold. Billie’s Black is located at 271 West 119th Street in Harlem. Doors at 7PM.

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