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 singer who, in her short career, switched from singing opera to singing Chicago blues and electric blues.[1] On her 1984 album, Million Dollar $ecret, she worked with Sunnyland Slim, Billy Branch, and Magic Slim.[3] She also worked with Lee "Shot" Williams.[2]


She was born Valerie Eileen Hall in Chicago, Illinois.[1] She was trained as an opera singer and graduated from the American Conservatory of Music,[4] but in 1982 she took up singing the blues in Chicago clubs.[1] She also worked in theater, playing roles portraying earlier blues singers, such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith. Her opera training enabled her to project her voice to theater audiences.[1] She appeared at the 1984 San Francisco Blues Festival, on a bill with Marcia Ball and Katie Webster.[5]

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

Million Dollar $ecret was reissued by Rooster Blues in 1995.[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 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. Vol. 83 no. 12. Johnson Publishing Company. 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]