published Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Lattimore loves to sing feel-good music

Gail Lattimore sings with two Chattanooga groups: Broad Street Exit and Love, Peace & Happiness
Gail Lattimore sings with two Chattanooga groups: Broad Street Exit and Love, Peace & Happiness

FACT FILE

Name: Gail Lattimore.

Hometown: Chattanooga.

Family: Sons, James Lattimore and Demonte Boddie, and daughter, Patrice Walker.

Education: Howard High School, San Joaquin Delta College in California.

Vocation: Customs compliance manager for an international firm.

Age: 56.

FAVORITES

Movie: “Imitation of Life.”

Play or musical: “The Wiz.”

Book: “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.

Song: “If This World Were Mine” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Performer: Patty LaBelle.

Actor: Angela Bassett.

Quote, saying or expression: “Winners make things happen; losers let things happen.”

By day, Gail Lattimore pores over contracts at her job as a customs compliance manager.

Some evenings and most weekends, she gets to get dressed up and make people happy with her voice as part of Broad Street Exit and Love, Peace & Happiness.

The two musical groups perform at weddings, reunions, corporate gatherings and high school dances. Their gigs are primarily happy occasions, and that is just fine with Lattimore, who grew up singing mostly gospel music in church.

Lattimore is the cousin of blues singer Benny Lattimore. She describes herself as a “very conservative and introverted person” and said “performing helps me to come out of my shell.”

Q: How long have you been singing?

A: I didn’t start singing seriously until I was a young adult. In my 20s I guess.

Q: Did you sing with local groups?

A: No. I mostly sang in church and gospel groups. I did sing with a couple of groups while I was living in Oakland and Denver. When I moved back here seven years ago, I met Valitus Edwards and started singing R&B with Love, Peace & Happiness.

Q: You guys pride yourselves on being able to cover almost any type of song. Do you like the variety?

A: Definitely. We do feel good music. Good music. Fun music and it’s clean music. We can do Motown or Frank Sinatra. We can do a little bit of country. We are often asked to do school events and they always have to approve our song list and 99 percent of the time we don’t have any trouble.

Q: Do the young people respond to it or do they want the new stuff?

A: Oh, we do modern songs also. We’re up to date, but we still do clean modern songs. Alicia Keyes or that new song, “The Cupid Shuffle.”

We did a Chattanooga Symphony party last year and there was a prom next door. The kids crashed the symphony party because they liked our music. We played at Baylor for Black History Month did some stuff like James Brown. The kids had a ball.

Q: What do you like about singing on stage?

A: I love to sing and I love the reaction that you get from people? To do it right, you have to relate to someone. At a wedding, maybe the mother requests a song and to see the bride’s reaction to her mother hearing the song is special.

Q: Was it always your goal to be a professional singer?

A: To tell you the truth, I never saw myself as an entertainer. I saw myself working and raising a family, but I really do love it. I do wish I’d pursued it earlier.

Q: Are you having a good time or a great time doing what you are doing now?

A: I love it. I love It. I love it. It gives me something else to do. You never know what you are going to get at an event.

In this band, we are all professional people. We all have separate lives or day jobs. This way, I get to get dressed up and go to a party. We don’t do clubs. I’m a church girl, so this works for me.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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