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Una Mae Carlisle (December 26, 1915, Xenia, Ohio - November 7, 1956, New York City) was an American jazz singer, pianist, and songwriter.

Fats Waller discovered Carlisle when she was still in her teens, while she worked as a local Cincinnati performer live and on radio. Carlisle's piano style was much influenced by Waller's; she played in a boogie-woogie/stride style and incorporated humor into her sets. She played solo from 1937, touring Europe repeatedly and recording with Waller late in the 1930s.

In the 1940s she recorded as a leder for Bluebird Records, with sidemen such as Lester Young, Benny Carter, and John Kirby. She had a longtime partnership with producer/publisher/manager Joe Davis, which began after her contract with Bluebird expired. Her records under Davis included performances from Ray Nance, Budd Johnson, and Shadow Wilson. She also saw success as a songwriter; Cab Calloway and Peggy Lee were among those who covered her tunes. She had her own radio and television programs late in the 1940s. Her last recordings were for Columbia Records with Don Redman early in the 1950s. Illness forced her to retire in 1952, and she died in 1956.


Visit the Una Mae Carlisle tribute website


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