Lillie Mae Jones, 16 May 1929, Flint, Michigan, USA, d. 26 September 1998, New York City, New York, USA. Growing up in Detroit, Carter sang with touring jazzmen, including Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. In her late teens, she joined Lionel Hampton, using the stage name Lorene Carter. With Hampton she enjoyed a love-hate relationship; he would regularly fire her only to have his wife and business manager, Gladys Hampton, re-hire her immediately. Carters predilection for bop earned from Hampton the mildly disparaging nickname of Bebop Betty, by which name she became known thereafter.
In the early 50s Carter worked on the edge of the R&B scene, sharing stages with blues artists of the calibre of Muddy Waters. Throughout the remainder of the 50s and into the 60s she worked mostly in and around New York City, establishing a reputation as a fiercely independent and dedicated jazz singer. She took time out for tours with...
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