La La Brooks of the Crystals: "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Then He Kissed Me" Singer at B.B. King's
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The last date listed for La La Brooks of the Crystals was Saturday February 26, 2011 / 8:00pm (Doors Open at 6:00pm).
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Known for her robust voice and rich tones, jazz vocalist Renee Manning came to fame in the jazz world as a big band singer with the Mel Lewis Orchestra from 1983 to 1989 -- the longest tenure of any vocalist associated with the organization. She's since performed with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sir Roland Hanna, Mark Murphy, Howard Johnson, Joe Williams, the Mingus Big Band and the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Orchestra. As a solo artist, Manning's most recent album, All Grown Up, showcases the Grammy-nominated singer's soothing, quieter side. Learn More
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Quotes & Highlights
See a video of La La Brooks singing “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Proud Mary” on YouTube.
Dolores “La La” Brooks was a member of the legendary girl group The Crystals and is best known as the lead vocalist on their hits “Then He Kissed Me” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.”
Brooks first displayed her talent by singing gospel music in church. At age seven, she took part in her siblings’ gospel group called the Little Gospel Tears, where they sang in Brooklyn. While attending P.S. 73, she was discovered in an after-school program by Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew and her mother, who invited her to join the Crystals as a replacement for a departing member. Brooks accepted this invitation.
After leaving the Crystals, she married jazz musician Leo Morris (also known as Idris Muhammad) in 1966; the union brought two sons and two daughters. Shortly thereafter, she converted to Islam with him, going under the name “Sakinah Muhammad.” She then helped him write and record his material over the years. In 1968, she appeared in the original Broadway production of the musical Hair, where she performed the song “Aquarius.” She would later appear in the Broadway show Two Gentlemen of Verona in 1971.
She also toured with and recorded for various artists (such as the Neville Brothers, Bobby Womack and Isaac Hayes), made short appearances in films, and contributed songs to different movie soundtracks (including the 1970 film Cotton Comes to Harlem). In 1971, she reunited with Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew, Mary Thomas, and Barbara Alston as the Crystals and toured and performed in rock-&-roll revival shows. Their touring lasted until 1973 when the members decided to devote their time to their families.
In 1983, she and her family moved to London, England where she and Morris continued their careers in music. In 1990, they moved to Vienna, Austria where she continued singing and writing songs with Morris and also hosted a local radio show; they lived in Vienna until 1997. Andrew Edge sang backing vocals her on her BMG (Austria) CD LaLa Brooks & Friends in 1994. In 1999, she and Morris separated but have remained on good terms since then. Brooks moved back to the United States at the turn of the century and currently resides in New York City.