Born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, Artie White's first public musical experience was singing gospel with the Harps of David. Moving to Chicago in 1956, White continued to sing gospel, now with the Full Gospel Wonders, switching over to blues in the early 1960s. Over the next two decades, the journeyman singer recorded a number of singles with independent labels such as PM, Gamma and Al Tee. White briefly reached the R & B charts with "You Are My Leanin' Tree" on Al Tee in 1977.

After a stint owning and operating Bootsy's Lounge in Chicago, White signed a recording contract with Stan Lewis's Ronn/Jewel/Paula consortium in 1985. In 1987, White moved on to John Abbey's Ichiban label where he was a fixture until he signed with Waldoxy in 1994. White's version of "You're Man Is Home Tonight" signaled that Waldoxy had moved decidedly into the same territory of soul blues that Malaco had been mining since Z. Z. Hill first signed with the company in 1980.

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