Mable John, the former Motown and Stax recording artist, co-stars with Danny Glover in "Honeydripper."
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire File Photos
Taken from http://www.mablejohn.com
What does a lady from Louisiana do to let the world know that she is alive? Especially when that young lady had a world famous brother. Well, if your name is Mable John, you just be yourself and do what is natural. That is the essence of Mable John, herself, naturally. Personable, affable and universally loved and respected.
For more than forty years a professional singer and she was the director of the Raelettes. That meant working with the genius himself, Mr. Ray Charles. Also, that meant doing a labor of love.
Mable and Ray have been friends and admirers of each other for a long time. Mable and her family moved from Louisiana to Detroit, Michigan. There Mable met and became friends with Mrs. Bertha Gordy, mother of the founder and owner of the Motown Record Corporation, Berry Gordy.
Mrs. Gordy hired Mable as a secretary at the Friendship Mutual Insurance Company as a result of their friendship. But Mable had decided on a musical career as a singer. She was the first female, single artist, signed to Motown on the Tamla label.
Later she recorded for other companies, among them, the Stax Group out of Memphis, Tenn. When Mable embarked on her singing career, she received and heeded a bit of advice from her already famous brother, the late great Little Willie John, "Either be a star or pack your bags and go home." She is a star.
Mable performed as a solo artist for seventeen years before joining Ray Charles and becoming director of the Raelettes. At the same time Mable organized her own business, Fourth House Music, a publishing company and talent management agency.
During her long career, Mable has performed with some of the greats of the business, people like the late Billie Holiday, B.B. King, Bill Doggett, David Newman and of course, Ray Charles. A picture taken at the close of a show at the Flame Show Bar in Detroit depicts Mable with Billie Holiday, with whom she shared the bill and Berry Gordy.
Billie Holiday's husband liked the photograph and had a ceiling to floor, wall to wall blowup made, which now hangs in the studios of Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. The musical dates that she shared with Billie Holiday had been arranged by Berry Gordy.
A major part of the show business world is public relations, how to sell yourself, Mable says she learned that from Mrs. Bertha Gordy. She evidently learned it well, because her ability to relate to audiences exmplifies her early training. At home, Mable has four sons, of whom three are deceased within the past two years. Two of her sons, Joel and Limuel, had launched the own show business careers, also serving as Executive Vice Presidents of her publishing companies.
Charitable Work: Joy In Jesus
Joy Community Outreach was founded in 1986 to address the social ills that impact our community. We have been feeding the homeless and disenfranchised ever since.
Currently, we serve in excess of 150 clients per day. Thanksgiving 1998 we served 280 hot meals and delivered 50 meals to our shut-in clients. Our "Christmas All Over L.A." event hosted over 2,000 guests.
A few years ago, our government gave the problems of joblessness, homelessness and hunger back to us as our responsibility of HOPE to those in need.
"A hungry man is not a free man." In the year 2000 we optimistically look toward the betterment of humanity. Our dream is the continuation of our mission at a permanent address-a warehouse space large enough to house classrooms where clients can learn by day and live by night to help themselves.