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*Lillian Green was born on this date in 1919. She was a Black blues singer and songwriter.
She was born in Mississippi but after the early deaths of her parents, she went to Chicago, where she began performing in her teens and where she would make all her recordings. Lil Green was noted for superb timing and a distinctively sinuous voice.
In the 1930s she and Big Bill Broonzy had a nightclub act together. Her two biggest hits were her composition “Romance in the Dark” (1940), later covered by Billie Holiday (actually a different song with the same title), and her version of Joe McCoy’s “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (1941), which was later covered by Peggy Lee. As well as performing in Chicago clubs, she toured with Tiny Bradshaw and other bands, but never really broke away from the African American theatre circuit.
When she signed with Atlantic Records in 1951, she was already in poor health. She died in Chicago of pneumonia on April 14, 1954, and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Gary, Indiana.