Betty Carter Day

May 16, 1929 – September 26, 1998

My Favorite Things

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Singer Betty Carter (born Lillie Mae Jones) was born May 16, 1929 in Flint, Michigan.

As a teenager, she’d already captured the attention of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. At 19, Lionel Hampton hired her to join his band and in 1960 she toured with Ray Charles.

Carter survived the career doldrums that hit many straight ahead jazz musicians in the 60s and 70s and received a burst of popularity that spread her music around the globe.

Renowned for her improvisational vocalizations, Betty Carter’s singing career began in Flint, Michigan as a girl in the church choir.

Nick named “The Kid” by band mates during this period, she is considered the last of the big band jazz singers for her time spent under Hampton’s guidance.

Departing from the Hampton, she moved to New York in 1951 and would remain for much of the decade recording with King Pleasure, the “Ray Bryant Trio”, and appearing at the Apollo Theater.

On Miles Davis’ recommendation Betty stated touring with Ray Charles in 1960 and the following year the duo recorded the R&B hit “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

Betty Carter continued to perform up until her death in 1998, taking her rightful place among the most celebrated jazz singers of our time.

Betty Carter and her Trio perform “My Favorite Things” live in East-Berlin for German TV in 1985.


Betty Carter, vocals
Benny Green, piano
unknown, bass
Winard Harper, drums


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