Artist picture of Carmen McRae

Carmen McRae

92 189 fans

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Artist's Top Tracks

Whatever Lola Wants Carmen McRae 02:58
My Funny Valentine Carmen McRae 04:20
I'll Remember April Carmen McRae 02:45
Baby, It's Cold Outside Sammy Davis Jr., Carmen McRae 03:12
Take Five Dave Brubeck, Carmen McRae, Studio Rio 02:54
Blue Moon Carmen McRae 02:35
When I Fall In Love Carmen McRae 03:46
Carry That Weight Carmen McRae 02:48
Mad About The Boy Carmen McRae 04:11
Take Five (with The Dave Brubeck Quartet) Carmen McRae 02:15

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by Carmen McRae

4/12/24

85 fans

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Biography

Born in Harlem, New York to Jamaican immigrant parents, Carmen McRae first studied piano at the age of eight and was soon hooked on the jazz music so prevalent at the time, particularly the greats Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday, who she met and became friends with at 17. McRae first made her name playing at Minton's Playhouse, a famous jazz club in Harlem where she initially worked as a secretary and sang as a chorus girl. In 1944 she went on to perform with Benny Carter's big band, worked with Count Basie and made her first recording with the Mercer Ellington Band in 1946. McRae's biggest success came in the 1950s, working with Noel Coward on Mad About The Man (1957) and later recording with Sammy Davis Jr. (on Boy Meets Girl, 1957) and Dave Brubeck (on The Real Ambassadors, 1961). She also went on to collaborate with Louis Armstrong and George Shearing, while performing at festivals and jazz clubs all over the world and in 1983 recorded a Billie Holiday tribute album, For Lady Day, although it wasn't released until 1995. McRae also starred in several films, including The Square Jungle (1956), The Subterraneans (1960), Hotel (1967) and Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling (1986). Emphysema caused her retirement in 1991 and she died at 73 following a stroke in 1994.