Una Mae Carlisle
Una Mae Carlisle
|Born||December 26, 1915|
Zanesville, Ohio, United States
|Died||November 7, 1956 (aged 40)|
Harlem, New York, United States
|Genres||jazz, swing, stride|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, pianist, composer|
Carlisle was born in Zanesville, Ohio, the daughter of Edward and Mellie Carlisle. She was of African and Native American descent. Trained to play piano by her mother, she was performing in public by age three.
In 1932, while she was still in her teens, Fats Waller discovered Carlisle while she worked as a local Cincinnati, Ohio, performer live and on radio. Her piano style was very 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, Carlisle recorded as a leader 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. Her 1941 song "Walkin' By The River" made her "the first black woman to have a composition appear on a Billboard chart". Cab Calloway and Peggy Lee were among those who covered her tunes. She had her own radio show, The Una Mae Carlisle Radio Show on WJZ-ABC, making her the "first black American to host a national radio show"; and television programs late in the 1940s. Her last recordings were for Columbia Records with Don Redman early in the 1950s.
- "Tain't Yours" b/w "Without You Baby" (Beacon, 1944)
- Wagner, Paulette (1994). "Carlisle, Una Mae (1915–1956)". Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 218. ISBN 0-253-32774-1.
- "Una Mae's Hit Sweeps Nation". The Afro American. April 26, 1941. Retrieved 26 March 2015 – via news.google.com.
- "Carlisle, Una Mae (1915 - 1956), Songwriters, Jazz Musicians, Jazz Singers, Pianists". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
- "City Of Lost Boundaries". Jet. November 22, 1951. Retrieved 26 March 2015 – via Google Books.
- Rye, Howard. "Una Mae Carlisle". nationaljazzarchive.co.uk. Storeyville. Retrieved 26 March 2015.
- Scheinman, Ted (January–February 2021). "Fascinating Women". Smithsonian. Smithsonian Institution. p. 20.
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 415. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
- "Una Mae Carlisle Buried In Ohio". The New York Age. November 17, 1956. p. 3. Retrieved 26 March 2015 – via newspapers.com.
- "Una Mae Carlisle Loses Fight For Life". The Pittsburgh Courier. November 17, 1956. p. 25. Retrieved 26 March 2015 – via newspapers.com.