All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Betty Carter

Betty Carter Betty Carter

Betty Carter is an NEA Jazz Master

Betty Carter was born Lillie Mae Jones in Flint, Michigan, on May 16, 1930. At a young age, she began the study of piano at the Detroit Conservatory of Music, and by the time she was a teenager she was slready sitting in with Charlie Parker and other bop musicians when they performed in Detroit. After winning a local amateur contest, she turned professional at age 16, hooking up with the Lionel Hampton band by 1948, billed as Lorraine Carter. Hampton was the man who hung the nickname 'Betty Be-Bop' on her (a nickname she hated, as she found bebop limiting and wanted to do more than just scat), but it stuck, and ultimately she changed her stage name to Betty Carter. At the age of 21, she traveled to New York with the Hampton band and set up home there.

Betty spent the early 1950s as a singer with different group. She did several shows at the Apollo, playing with such notables as Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie, toured with Miles Davis in 1958 and 1959, and spent much of the rest of the time on the outskirts of the jazz scene. Her refusal to adopt a more “mainstream” jazz style led to difficulty in finding bookings and making recordings. She made her first recordings in 1955 with a then-unknown piano player named Ray Bryant. The album, Meet Betty Carter and Ray Bryant, was little received, and her second set of recordings, with the Gigi Gryce band in 1956, languished unpublished until 1980.

Read more

Tags

Photos

Albums

 

El Momento

BETTYRules Music
2006

buy
 

'S Finest Hour

BETTYRules Music
2003

buy
Album I'm Yours, You're Mine by Betty Carter

I'm Yours, You're Mine

Verve Music Group
1997

buy
Album I’m Yours, You're Mine by Betty Carter

I’m Yours, You're...

Verve Music Group
1996

buy
 

I'm Yours, You're Mine

BETTYRules Music
1996

buy
 

Feed The Fire

BETTYRules Music
1994

buy

Watch

Similar

Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
voice / vocals
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
voice / vocals
Cassandra Wilson Cassandra Wilson
voice / vocals
Abbey Lincoln Abbey Lincoln
voice / vocals
Dinah Washington Dinah Washington
voice / vocals
Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
voice / vocals
Anita O'Day Anita O'Day
voice / vocals
Tierney Sutton Tierney Sutton
voice / vocals
Helen Merrill Helen Merrill
voice / vocals
Nnenna Freelon Nnenna Freelon
voice / vocals
Ernestine Anderson Ernestine Anderson
voice / vocals
Oscar Brown Jr. Oscar Brown Jr.
voice / vocals

Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.