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|Birth name||Ernestine Letitia Allen|
November 11, 1920|
Champaign, Illinois, United States
August 10, 1992 (aged 71)|
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
|Labels||Tru-Sound LP, Capitol/Pathe Marconi, Official, Rev-Ola |
Ernestine Letitia Allen was born in Champaign, Illinois, United States. Her first recordings were made in 1945, and included "Miss Annie's Blues" and "Love for Sale". She sang with Big John Greer, Wynonie Harris, and Lucky Millinder. In 1951, Federal Records signed her to sing with Millinder's orchestra. She scored other hits with Millinder such as "I'll Never Be Free", "Let It Roll", "I'm Waiting Just for You" (written by Carolyn Leigh and Henry Glover), "Moanin' the Blues", and "More, More, More". Federal's parent company, King Records, acquired her in 1953.
Her single, "Baby I'm Doin' It", released in 1953 appeared on the US Billboard R&B chart (No. 8). After releasing the single, Apollo Records sued King for copyright infringement, and as a result King dropped her from its roster. She then signed with Capitol Records and did tours with Joe Morris and The Orioles. In 1955, she scored a hit in the US with "Fujiyama Mama". The track was later covered by Eileen Barton and then by Wanda Jackson.
Allen became a solo artist in the 1960s.
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