Do. Re. Me. Fa. So Lalie
Story and Photography by Laurie McCall
Lalie Mole, pronounced “la lee” as in “lollipop,” always dreamed of being a mommy and singer, and she is kicking butt at both. From the time Lalie was 4 years old, she and her older sister, Pearl, would perform anytime their mom had friends over to play cards. “We’d sing ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love?’ by Frankie Lymon—remade by Diana Ross. I just remember their reaction was so dope.”
Lalie’s dad was a singer in a group called “The Moderations.” She laughs, “I guess they couldn’t take ‘em all at once, so they had to take ‘em in moderation.” Growing up in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan, there was a lot going on in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Even as a single mother to six kids, her mom, Sarita Greenwood, managed to keep Lalie and her siblings from being fully conscious of how tough things were at times, using music as their refuge.
Two or three times a week the “Greenwood 6” would put on a show. “We’d corral the kids from down the street to come sit on the couch and listen. My sister and I thought we were JJ Fad singin’ and rappin’ ‘Super Sonic.’ We’d sing anything we could get our brains to remember, including a pre-K song, ‘The Green Grass Grows All Around’ in five-part harmony. All the kids would say, ‘Yo, you jammin’!’” Lalie learned music had the power to lift people’s spirits and make them forget their troubles, even if just for a while.
In 1997, after graduating high school, Lalie enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Some nights she’d find herself putting on an impromptu concert in the bathroom for some of the 88 young women in her division because they missed their parents, their spouses, or their kids. “If it was their birthday, they really got the extra acoustic bathroom special, just to brighten their day,” she giggled.
With all the people struggling with anxiety and depression, she knows a song can be a light in the midst of a stormy day. “Like you, when I sang for you, I didn’t know it would turn into an awesome friendship. I just wanted to help you ‘cause your neck was broke,” we both laugh. It’s true. I met Lalie Mole one day when I wandered down to Alljoy beach, sipping Tequila through a straw and wearing flip flops, a bathrobe, and a neck brace—not making me the most likely candidate for a new best friend, but that’s how it happened. Lalie Mole is a champion for the least among us, and clearly I was dragging the bottom that day. She came to my house and sang to me for about eight hours straight, and then she did it again the next day, and the next day and the next day, and we’ve been soul sisters ever since.
A year or so later, Lalie was still dreaming of singing professionally, but fear of rejection was holding her back. She sat on my front porch one night belting out a stirring, powerful rendition of “His Eye is on the Sparrow.” We looked up and realized cars had stopped driving down Alljoy. People had rolled down their windows just to take in the sweet sound. That was a pivotal moment—like, “Look at this gift you’ve been given. You have to share this with the world.”
One day, Lalie decided to step out on faith, embracing the scripture Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Soon after, she was given the opportunity to sing with Brad Wells. “We have this awesome chemistry, a nice flow that comes across on stage.” Since Lalie’s husband of 15 years is also named Brad, they call themselves, “Lalie and the Other Brad.”
As a mommy to four amazing kids, Lalie is finally living her dream. She and the other Brad have paid gigs two to three nights a week, and she’s also part of the worship team at Lowcountry Community Church. “God told me He was gonna bless me on whatever stage I stepped foot on. So, I took that and ran with it. The sky’s not even the limit. We’re going past the stratosphere,” she laughs. “We’re going to the second or third stratosphere.”
Lalie and the Other Brad sing an eclectic blend of songs from Adele, to Justin Bieber, to Bill Withers and songs like “Lean on Me,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” Her sweet and sultry voice fits about any genre including pop, reggae, country, R&B, rock, and of course, Motown. A fan, who happened to be from Detroit, came up to her once and said, “I love it! You gave me some Fergie, and you gave me some Jesus!” Her favorite song to cover—“I try” by Macy Gray, “because our Afros are alike, and my voice is sassy and smoky like hers.” Another favorite is “Proud Mary,” the Tina Turner version. Their set is nostalgic, yet relevant, and will make you feel right at home.
Lalie’s unbridled passion and her ridiculous talent are matched by her humility and faith. “I don’t want the temptation of people’s praise. I want all the glory to go to God. I stay on stage for a few minutes to connect with folks because I am a people person, but then I retreat to catch my breath and wait for the next opportunity to do it all over again.”
The Molehicans: Husband, Brad, dreams of vintage clothing. Daughter Jada (14) dreams of makeup artistry. Daughter Camdyn Claire (8) dreams of modeling and acting. Son, Ethan Asher (4), dreams of candy. Daughter Yanni, Last of the Molehicans, (8 months) dreams of unicorns.
Saturday Night Fever: You can find Lalie and the Other Brad at Marley’s on HHI every Saturday through Labor Day, weather permitting.
2nd & 3rd Stratosphere Dreams: The Voice or American Idol (coming back on Fox), but for now, Lalie is focused on her babies and not missing a single first.