Sensuous vocalist Millie Jackson is slated to headline a sensational R&B and soul revue at the sparkling new Regal Theater in June. Jackson will perform with songwriter and entertainment legend, Denise LaSalle, and passionate soul star Willie Clayton.
The Regal Theater, a venue made famous for featuring legendary stars, began a new era when it featured the Mahalia Jackson Memorial Musical over Mother’s Day weekend by its new owners, Regina and Rod Evans Jr. The husband and wife team has completely renovated the famous venue that is now considered one of America’s significant cultural venues.
“We were compelled to repair the roof, build a new stage and construct a fabulous lobby and entrance. We are currently contracting artists and entertainers who will perform programs that will bring shows to the entire family,” Regina Evans said. “Senior citizens will have special admission prices that they can afford. We are programming special attractions for children and youth, along with productions in which they can participate.”
Evans explained that booking various acts will be expensive, but they are dedicated to keeping the tradition alive by providing the best Black entertainment in Chicago. Jackson, the headlining act for the second show in the refreshed historical landmark theater, is well known to Chicago audiences. She has performed in the city’s many venues since she began her singing career in Hoboken, N.J. She became a disco diva, heating up the airwaves with her explicit, sensual lyrics.
By 1970, Jackson’s recordings, including Ask Me What You Want, My Man A Sweet Man and Hurts So Good, hit the charts. Hurts So Good was the film score for the blaxploitation movie Cleopatra Jones, which skyrocketed Jackson into stardom. Three talents of Denise LaSalle ushered her into the entertainment arena, which she developed in her hometown of LaFlore County, Mich. LaSalle was a fiction writer, a lyrist and vocalist.
Realizing her capabilities, she relocated to Chicago in 1954. LaSalle earned considerable acclaim as a songwriter. She also earned recognition as a vocalist on the Tarpon label. In 1969, she and her husband, Bill Jones, established Crejon Productions and released Trapped By A Thing Called Love on Westbound Records.
LaSalle began working with Willie Mitchell in Memphis, but enjoyed a relationship with Chess Records. LaSalle has earned national acclaim, placing No. 1 on the national R&B Charts and Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Currently, she is a songwriter and vocalist for Malaco Records and tours internationally. Clayton was born in Indianola, Mich., but is proudly rooted in Chicago. Pervis Span discovered Clayton and introduced him to the music world.
Clayton first recorded for a label in Dallas in 1969. The single I Must Be Loving You on Hi Records Pawn called attention to his amazing gift of song. Currently, Clayton is recording with Malaco Records and EnZone Entertainment. These sensational stars can be seen at the Regal Theater, 1645 E. 79th St., June 7 at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.
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