Valerie Wellington

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Valerie Wellington
Birth name Valerie Eileen Hall
Born (1959-11-14)November 14, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died January 2, 1993(1993-01-02) (aged 33)
Maywood, Illinois, United States
Genres Chicago blues, electric blues[1]
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Instruments Vocals
Years active Late 1970s–1992
Labels Flying Fish

Valerie Wellington (November 14, 1959 – January 2, 1993)[2] was an African-American Chicago blues and electric blues singer and actress.[1] Her 1984 album, Million Dollar $ecret, saw her work with Sunnyland Slim, Billy Branch, and Magic Slim.[3] In her early years, Wellington also worked with Lee "Shot" Williams.[2] In a short career, she switched from opera to the blues.[1]


She was born Valerie Eileen Hall in Chicago, Illinois, United States.[1] Wellington trained as an opera singer, graduating from the American Conservatory of Music,[4] but in 1982 took up singing the blues in her local Chicago clubs.[1] Her work extended to the theater, where she undertook roles portraying earlier blues singers such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Wellington's opera training enabled her to project her voice to theater audiences.[1] She appeared at the 1984 San Francisco Blues Festival, on the bill alongside Marcia Ball and Katie Webster.[5]

Her recorded work blended the more traditional vaudeville approach with a contemporary Chicago blues format. Wellington appeared on a limited number of recordings, but her voice was used on several advertisements on both television and radio.[1] Wellington's recording of "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" was used on the soundtrack to the 1989 film, Great Balls of Fire!, in which she briefly appeared depicting Big Maybelle.[6] In the same year, Wellington toured Japan, with Carlos Johnson.

Wellington died of a cerebral aneurysm in Maywood, Illinois, in January 1993, at the age of 33.[2] She was interred at the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

In 1995, Rooster Blues re-issued Million Dollar $ecret.[3]


Year Title Record label
1984 Million Dollar $ecret Flying Fish
1991 Life in the Big City GBW (Japan)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g O'Neal, Jim. "Valerie Wellington". Allmusic. Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1992 - 1993". Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Million Dollar $ecret - Valerie Wellington | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Valerie Wellington". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company). 83, No. 12 (January 18, 1993): p.56. 
  5. ^ "San Francisco Blues Festival". Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Valerie Wellington". Retrieved September 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Valerie Wellington | Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-31. 

External links[edit]