Lil Green Biography

22 December 1919, Mississippi, USA, d. 14 April 1954. Growing up in Chicago, Green began to sing in clubs in the mid-30s. By the end of the decade she was appearing regularly at some of the city’s best-known nightspots, and was recording with artists such as ‘Big’ Bill Broonzy, who wrote several songs for her, including ‘Country Boy Blues’ and ‘My Mellow Man’. Green composed some well-known songs herself, among them ‘Romance In The Dark’, later covered by Mary Ann McCall, Jeri Southern and Billie Holiday. In the early 40s she toured with Tiny Bradshaw and Luis Russell but never really broke away from the black theatre circuit and those areas of the record business that catered specifically for black audiences. The limitations this placed upon her career were severe, even in the case of one of Green’s most popular recordings, Joe McCoy’s ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?’. The record was heard by Peggy Lee, who was then with Benny Goodman And His Orchestra. Their cover version was an enormous hit, thus further shading Green’s fortunes. Although signed by Atlantic Records in 1951, she was in poor health and died in 1954.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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