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Night Lights Classic Jazz

Why Don’t You Do Right: Una Mae Carlisle And Lil Green

Una Mae Carlisle and Lil Green both were popular jazz-and-blues singer-songwriters in the 1940s...

Una Mae Carlisle and Lil Green both were popular jazz-and-blues singer-songwriters in the 1940s; both spawned hits for Peggy Lee; and both are largely forgotten today. Carlisle, a teenage piano-playing protege of Fats Waller, wrote and recorded the hits “I See a Million People” and “Walkin’ By the River.” We’ll hear recordings she made between 1938 and 1947, including one with Lester Young, a circa-1940 pro-neutrality song with the unlikely title of “Blitzkrieg Baby.” Lil Green was a popular blues artist who made many recordings with her partner, Big Bill Broonzy; one of them, a recording of Horace McCoy’s “Romance in the Dark,” had a big impact on the young Peggy Lee, who recorded it with Benny Goodman’s big band. (She also recorded Carlisle’s “I See a Million People.”) Lil Green

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