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Una Mae Carlisle
On this date in 1915, Una Mae Carlisle was born. She was a Black pianist and singer.
Born the day after Christmas in Xenia, Ohio, her parents were Native American and Black. Carlisle started singing at the age of three and by the age of seventeen (1932), she was working at a local radio station. Fats Waller heard her play and asked her to join his band, where she stayed until 1934. It is her voice with Waller on the recording "I Can’t Give You Anything but Love."
Carlisle auditioned for the Cotton Club, performed solo, and recorded in Europe. When World War II broke out, she returned to America and recorded for Blue Bird Records, "Walkin’ By The River" (1940) and I" See A Million People" (1941). In 1954, she became ill and retired from performing. Una Carlisle died two years later in November 1956 in New York City.
Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia
Volumes 1 and 2, edited by Darlene Clark Hine
Copyright 1993, Carlson Publishing Inc., Brooklyn, New York