b. Nellie Lutcher, 15th October 1912, Lake Charles, Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 8th June 2007, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
Nellie was a singer and pianist who was popular in the late 1940's and early 1950's.
She was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Isaac and Suzie Lutcher.
Her father was a bass player and she learned to play piano.
She was the eldest daughter of 15 children.
Her brother was the saxophonist Joe Woodman Lutcher.
Initially, Nellie played in a big band with her bass-playing father before moving on to join the Clarence Hart Band.
She played clubs on the west coast during the late 30's / early 40's and signed to Capitol Records in 1947 following an appearance on a 'March Of Dimes' charity show.
he's a real gone guy b/w let me love you tonight - 1947 / hurry on down b/w the lady's in love with you - 1947 / fine brown frame b/w hurry on down - 1948 / nellie lutcher and her rhythm - 1948
Her first release, the R & B-styled 'Hurry On Down', became a US Top 20 hit that same year and was followed by 'He's A Real Gone Guy', 'The Song Is Ended' and 'Fine Brown Frame'.
The latter was a cover version of an earlier hit by bandleader Buddy Johnson.
Nellie left Capitol in 1952, but sporadically recorded for the imprint again in future years..
real gone - 1955 / our new nellie - 1956 / delightfully yours - 1966 / real gone reissue - 1966
She later moved on to Decca, Epic and Liberty Records, recording a highly rated album, 'Our New Nellie'.
However, her popularity had faded, and during the late 60's and early 70's she took a staff job with the Hollywood Local Branch of the Musicians' Union, still occasionally playing clubs and, also, raising her son.
In 1966, Nellie released an album called 'Delightfully Yours', featuring tracks from the 'Our New Nellie' album sessions.
Nellie performed well into her 70's and was the only African American woman to serve on the board of directors for the Musicians Union.
She performed during the 1990's, enjoying a resurgance of popularity at the Hollywood Roosevelt Cinegrill and Michael's Pub in New York.
The Bear Family record company in Germany later issued a 4 CD box set containing her entire body of work.
Nellie Lutcher died in 2007 in Los Angeles from pneumonia. She was 94.
Nellie Lutcher and Her Rhythm (Capitol Records 1948)
Real Gone (Liberty Records 1955)
Our New Nellie (Liberty Records 1956)
Delightfully Yours (Capitol Records 1966)
Real Gone (Capitol Records 1966)