Gospel, Jazz, Blues Vocals, Songwriter Duke Ellington

Born: Prichard, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


Local Jazz Singer, Lil Greenwood, Has Died By: Katie Hammond | WKRG

Published: July 19, 2011

Greenwood, who was born in Prichard, suffered a stroke last year.

In the ealry 1950's, Duke Ellington heard her sing at the Purple Onion in San Francisco, and the next week Lil Greenwood was in New York recording with him. For over 50 years her voice entertained in recordings and live performances. She was even in the National Touring Company of Broadway's "Hello Dolly" starring Pearl Bailey.

Just last weekend in Mobile, a concert honoring her life and legacy.

Source: WKRG.Com News


Lil Greenwood

 Lil Greenwood might be most well known as a vocalist with Duke Ellington's band for a few years starting in the late '50s. She is featured on Ellington's album My People, but her career as a recording artist in her own right was highlighted by more R&B-oriented sides she did in the early '50s for Modern and Federal. Though she didn't have hits, Greenwood was one of many California-based singers in these years recording in a style intersecting jazz with blues and a bit of gospel, forming a dominant part of post-war R&B before that gave way to doo wop and rock & roll. Greenwood had a strong voice, but didn't get the material that could establish her as a star artist, though some bigger R&B names are heard as accompanists on those sessions, like Camille Howard, Little Willie Littlefield, Thurston Harris, and members of the Johnny Otis Band.

After her stint in Ellington's band ended, Greenwood recorded sporadically for other labels like NRC, Reprise, and Tangerine, and made some appearance on TV series, including The Tonight Show, Good Times, and The Jeffersons. A compilation of her '50s R&B sides, Walking & Singing the Blues, came out on Ace in 2002.

Bio courtesy of Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide


More info: WKRG Obituary with video and sound clips:http://www2.wkrg.com/news/2011/jul/19/local-jazz-singer-lil-greenwood-has-died-ar-2246736/

Find A Grave listing http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=74251393

Video: Lil Greenwood & The E.B. Coleman Orchestra (2007) http://youtu.be/Siof3X1OomY

Video:Lil Greenwood - Come Back Baby http://youtu.be/gKLxCV7upp8


Listen/Purchase

Amazon: Walking & Singing the Blues

 

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