Kitty White

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Kitty White
Birth nameKitty Jean Bilbrew
Born(1923-07-07)July 7, 1923
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
DiedAugust 11, 2009(2009-08-11) (aged 86)
Palm Springs, California
GenresJazz, gospel, pop, spiritual
Occupation(s)Singer
LabelsMercury, Capitol, Pacific Jazz

Kitty Jean Bilbrew, better known as Kitty White (July 7, 1923 – August 11, 2009) was an American jazz singer who was popular in Los Angeles nightclubs.

She recorded mostly on the West Coast with Buddy Collette, Gerald Wiggins, Chico Hamilton, Bud Shank and Red Callender. She sang many demo recordings for her friend, Los Angeles blues composer Jessie Mae Robinson, including "I Went to Your Wedding," a No. 1 hit for Patti Page in 1953.[1]

Biography[edit]

Kitty Jean Bilbrew was born on July 7, 1923 in Los Angeles, California. She was raised in a musical family—her parents were singers, and her uncle was a well-known vaudevillian and disc jockey. She started her career at the age of sixteen as a singer and a pianist. She appeared in local night clubs in her home town Los Angeles like the Hob Nob, the Club Gala, the Haig and The Captain's Table. When Kitty branched out and opened at the Black Orchid in Chicago, Illinois, she was introduced to the executives of Mercury Records, and she became a Mercury recording artist.

Her twin sister, Maudie Jeanette, also sang and briefly worked with Duke Ellington's revue, Jump for Joy, but never pursued an active career. Their mother, known as A.C. Bilbrew, organized an all-black chorus that performed in the 1929 film Hearts of Dixie.

A.C. later recorded the 1955 protest song "The Ballad of Emmett Till" for Dootone Records. Kitty picked up her catchy jazz name legitimately by marrying songwriter Eddie White in the 1940s. She moved to Palm Springs, California in 1967 and sang at the Spa Hotel for sixteen years.

White died in Palm Springs, at the age of 86, after suffering a stroke.[1]

Discography[edit]

  • 1955 A New Voice in Jazz (EmArcy)
  • 1956 Kitty White (EmArcy)
  • 1956 A Moment of Love (Pacific)
  • 1959 Sweet Talk (Roulette)
  • 1960 Wimoweh (Dot)
  • 1962 Kitty White (Clover)
  • 1965 Kitty White and Laurindo Almedia with the Buddy Collette Orchestra (Horizon)
  • 1978 Crawfish with Elvis Presley (Remake, Dot)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Kitty White, Vocalist Sang With Elvis". Los Angeles Times. 3 September 2009.

External links[edit]