LIZZIE MILES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Christened Elizabeth Landreaux, Lizzie Miles was born on Bourbon Street, New Orleans in 1895 and she was the half sister of Blues singer Edna Hicks and trumpet player Herb Morand. By the time she was a 14 years old she was singing with New Orleans musicians such as King Oliver, Kid Ory, and Bunk Johnson. She worked as a 'song plugger' for Clarence Williams, and also spent several years touring the southern USA vaudeville circuit, working in a circus, minstrel shows and theatres. She was in Chicago during 1918-1920 and then moved to New York in 1921. In Chicago she performed with Elgars Creole Orchestra, Freddie Keppard, and with King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band. After moving to New York she began her recording career in 1922 and played clubs and cabarets with the Sam Wooding Orchestra and with ‘Piron's New Orleans Orchestra’. Her recordings from the 1922-1930 period mostly used lesser-known players, but Louis Metcalf and King Oliver were on two songs apiece and she recorded a pair of duets with Jelly Roll Morton in 1929. Some of her recordings were released under the names of Mandy Smith and Jane Howard.

In 1924 she toured Europe and played in Paris at Louis Mitchell's club ‘Chez Mitchell’ and other venues for the next couple of years. In 1927 she returned to New York where she stayed for most of the next 13 years, although her performing was interrupted by illness for a while in the early 1930’s. She performed in clubs around the city with numerous acts, including a group led by Fats Waller. In the late 1930s, Miles returned to New Orleans and left show business until the early l950’s when she resumed her career performing and recording with the Bob Scobey Band until she retired in 1959. She died of a heart attack aged 68 in 1963.

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