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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Annisteen Allen

Ernestine Letitia Allen (aka Annisteen Allen), b. November 11, 1920 in Champaign, IL, d. August 10, 1992 in Harlem, New York, NY, American blues singer. Raised by her grandmother in Toledo, Ohio, Allen was an exceptionally soulful big-band vocalist who excelled at both ballads and blues. She was influenced by Ella Fitzgerald and discovered by Louis Jordan. He recommended her to fellow band leader Lucky Millinder, with whom she toured from 1945 and recorded for Queen Records, Decca Records and RCA - Victor Records, scoring R&B chart hits such as "More, More, More", "Let It Roll", "Moanin' The Blues" and "I'll Never Be Free". In 1951 she went solo and continued her recording career on King Records (1951-53), Capitol Records (1954-55) and Decca (1956-57). She finished the decade recording singles for small concerns such as Todd, Warwick and Wig Records, before cutting a much acclaimed debut album in 1961 with King Curtis' band on Tru-Sound and retiring from the music business. Annisteen Allen died in Harlem, New York City at age 71.


by Ron DePasquale
Born as Ernestine Allen, this jazz-tinged blues singer began recording in 1945 and went on to record such songs as "Miss Allen's Blues" and "Love For Sale" as Annisteen Allen. After touring with Lucky Millinder, Big John Greer and Wynonie Harris. In 1951, Federal Records signed the entire Lucky Millinder Orchestra to back Allen on vocals. After moving to Federal's parent, King, in 1953, Allen recorded "Baby I'm Doing It," for which King was sued by Apollo Records for copyright infringement. Dropped by King, Allen signed with Capitol in 1954 and toured with The Orioles and Joe Morris and His Blues Cavalcade. In 1955, Allen had a hit with "Fujiyama Mama," a song that was quickly covered by Eileen Barton and later by Wanda Jackson. Allen died at 71 in 1992.