Chicago blues singer and nurse who, after taking a brief retirement, performed deep into her eighties. She recorded numerous songs in her early years, and in the 1940s, she toured with the USO.
Arriving in Chicago at the age of fifteen, she initially found little work outside of brothels and disreputable joints until the upscale club Dago Frank's hired her as a soloist.
She left singing to start a career as a nurse, which she kept well into her second singing career.
She was born in Memphis, Tennessee, running away from home at age twelve to travel.
Though mostly known for her music, she did have a walk-on role in Robert Altman's Remember My Name and she also sang on the soundtrack.