Laura Lee “Wedlock Is A Padlock” (Hot Wax 7007, R&B #37, 1970)
Always a women’s rights activist on vinyl in my household, gospel protege turned soul siren Laura Lee celebrates her 70th Birthday today. Starting out with her adopted mother Ernestine Rundless in The Meditation Singers, she always brought a sanguine knowledge to her soulful knowledge that seemed wise beyond her years.
Granted, from the go in her secular career in 1966, she was given or had a hand in creating recordings that made her a sufferer of absolutely no fools. So it shouldn’t be any surprise that her recording persona that said “Wanted, Lover, No Experience Necessary” and called out a “Dirty Man” in 1967 was warning other women about the dark side of matrimony come 1970; nevermind her classics to come, notably “Women’s Love Rights” and “Rip Off.”
Here we find her at the beginning of her Hot Wax/Invictus years, and like her other female contemporaries at the label, making some rather feminist assertions with her debut. It falls perfectly in line with the bra-burning “Unhooked Generation” by Freda Payne and “While You’re Out Looking For Sugar” by The Honey Cone for a trifecta of “fuck off.”