From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hall, Leula Wallace

(born: June 4, 1939  -  died: December 20, 2022) 

Leula Wallace Hall was an educator, administrator, minister, former high school basketball coach, and former jazz singer. She was born in the coal camp town of Valles Creek [now Hartwell] in McDowell County, WV. She was the oldest child of the late Bonnie Goddard Wallace and Theodore Wallace Sr. The family moved from West Virginia to Cincinnati, OH, then on to Lexington, KY, where Leula Hall attended old Dunbar High School. She learned to sing in church, and was a professional jazz singer. Her stage name was Toni Wallace. She sang with the local group known as The House Rockers. She also sang with the Eugene Barr Trio, and she was an Ikette, singing with Ike and Tina Turner. She was one of the backup singers on the 1963 single release of Tina's Dilemma.

Leula Hall came back to Lexington, KY, when her singing career ended. She went back to Dunbar High School and graduated in 1965, nine years after her classmates. She enrolled at Transylvania University and graduated with a B.A. in Sociology in 1973, and began teaching social studies at Lafayette High School. She was also the basketball coach for the girls' team. She coached the team a year before Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972 went into effect in Lexington schools. Leula Hall had also coached a girls' community basketball team, the team members were her daughter and her daughter's friends. The team did not have a name. Opponents were teams such as the Transylvania women's team, the Sayre School team, and a girls team from Ashland, KY. Leula Hall had played basketball in Alabama when she stayed with her grandmother. In Lexington, she was a player/coach. Once, she dressed out with her community team during a game against Sayre School when foul trouble left her with only four players on the floor.

In addition to coaching and teaching at Lafayette High School, Leula Hall continued her education and earned her master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University. In 1975, she moved with her husband to Detroit, MI, and earned her Ph.D. in educational sociology at Wayne State University. She earned a second doctorate in pastoral counseling. While in Detroit, Leula Hall was director of an after school leadership program for high school students in the Region One Student Resource Center, it was a federally funded program. All of her students graduated from high school.

Hall was next a school community agent with the city school system, she was a liaison between the school and the community, and would become an assistant director, then a director of Area E (formerly Region 6) in 1984. The area included 42 schools with students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds. Hall's duties included fund raising and helping to convince the community to pass property taxes (millage elections) to pay for the schools. In 1991, Leula Hall became director of Adult Education in the Detroit City School System. She was the lead researcher, and later director, of the African Heritage Cultural Center's exhibit and display. The event drew up to 80,000 visitors.

Leula Hall also established the Christ Church Christian Disciples Ministry at 18336 Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI. In 2001, she retired, closed her church, and returned to Lexington. She taught part-time at Kentucky State University.

Leula Hall was the mother of Ronald, Daryl, and Candyce. Her daughter Candyce Edwards was also a professional singer with the group "Al Hudson and One Way." The group had five top ten hits, and the biggest hit was the song Cutie Pie, which reached #4 on the R&B Charts in 1982.

Information for this entry comes from the Leula Wallace interviews that are housed in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Leula Wallace Hall is the sister of Theodore C. Wallace, Jr. and Thomas C. Wallace. See also An analysis of the local school principals and local school-community relations committee members' perceptions of the influence of community-relations members in decision-making policies at the local school level in Region Five, Detroit Public Schools by Leula Wallace Clark; and "Praise revival for women starts tonight," Lexington Herald-Leader, 08/07/1997, p.15.

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“Hall, Leula Wallace,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-02-24 16:05:34