The ‘80s: Nona Hendryx’s ‘Female Trouble’

Nona Hendryx 2Having spent the last 50-plus years performing for audiences around the globe, vocalist and musician Nona Hendryx is without a doubt a music industry veteran.  From the 1960s through the mid-‘70s she was a member of Labelle, the famed trio consisting of Hendryx, Sarah Dash, and songstress Patti LaBelle.  Together, the group broke ground with their glam rock style, funk rock recordings, and of course, the pop/R&B classic “Lady Marmalade.”

Style: "Disable"After Labelle’s breakup in the mid-1970s, Hendryx embarked on a solo career and in 1987, she released her fifth studio album, Female Trouble.  Sonically, the album was definitely characteristic of the sound of the times yet still ran the gamut of genres for which Hendryx was known.  She gave you a bit of syncopated ‘80s pop with the tunes “I Know What You Nee,” and “Too Hot To Handle,” added a rock flair with the tracks “Big Fun,” “Rhythm of Change,” and “Drive Me Wild,” and turned the corner with the bluesy groove of the title track and the ballad “Winds of Change (Mandela to Mandela).” 

Female Trouble also included a the cult classic “Baby Go-Go,” a funky little tune written by Prince under the pseudonym Joey Co-Co which peaked at #60 on the R&B chart. While the album barely made the Top 100 on the pop chart, it managed to strike a chord with the R&B crowd, peaking on the R&B chart at #30.  This was most likely due to Hendryx’s most commercially successful solo single, “Why Should I Cry?,” which managed to make it to #58 on the pop charts in the U.S. as well as the Top Ten on the R&B and dance charts. The album even made a little noise in the U.K., an audience she was no stranger to, peaking at #60 on the U.K. chart.

—Montrose Cunningham

Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.

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