Lil Greenwood

Lil Greenwood is a Mobile jazz vocalist. She left Prichard for California in 1949. For about 10 years she made a living singing at clubs in the San Francisco Bay area, occasionally traveling to Los Angeles to record singles with bandleader Roy Milton and other groups.

She was hand picked by Duke Ellington to join his tour. Ellington and Billy Strayhorn revamped her tune “Walking and Singing the Blues,” and it became her signature contribution to the Ellington canon. She stayed with him until his death in 1974 and continued to tour with his son. But at the end of the decade she came back home to Prichard, to care for her mother and other relatives.

In 2002, English label Ace Records released “Lil Greenwood: Walking and Singing the Blues,” a collection of singles from the 1950s. In 2007, she released the album “Back to My Roots” at the age of 83.

In 2010 Greenwood suffered a stroke causing her to halt her performances.


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