ALLEN Ernestine (Annisteen)


Allen is vocalist with the Lucky Milinder band in 1949, and opens 1950 as part of a touring R & B show with Big John Greer, Wynonie Harris, and the Millinder band. The show ends up with a week at Baltimore's Royal Theater. The next month Allen plays a week at Chicago's Regal Theater with the Hot Lips Page band. In July RCA #20-088 features Lucky Millinder's band with Annisteen Allen on vocal on "Let It Be" and Paul Breckenridge doing the vocal on the flip side of "Sweet Slumber" a reprise of Millinder's big hit of 1944 (with a Trevor Bacon vocal).

In January of 1951, Ralph Bass A & R man for Federal Records signs the whole Lucky Millinder Orchestra to the label. The plan is to feature Annisteen's vocals on Federal, and the band and other singers on the King releases. In March they record for the parent label King #4436 - "The Jumping Jack" and "Mister Trumpet Man" vocal by Allen. At almost the same time Federal #12012 is released - "Lies Lies Lies" and "Cloudy Day Blues" with Annisteen featured on both sides. In May again on King - #4453 - "I'm Waiting Just For You" vocal by Allen and John Carroll, and "Bongo Boogie" with solo vocal by Allen. A month later Federal #12020 features Annisteen Allen's vocals on "Hard To Get Along" and "Too Long". In September the Lucky Millinder band records "No One Else Could Be" with vocals by Annisteen and Melvin Moore, and "The Grape Vine" with vocal by Melvin Moore.

In 1953, all of Annisteen Allen's recordings are moved to the King label. The first release of the year is #4608 - "Yes I Know" and "Baby I'm Doing It" an answer record to the 5 Royales big R & B hit of "Baby Don't Do It". In May #4622 - "Trying To Live Without You" / "My baby Keeps Rollin'" is released. In October Apollo Records sues King for copyright infringement over Annisteen Allen's answer record "Baby I'm Doing It". Early in 1954 Annisteen Allen records "Down By The River" and "I Don't Want A Substitute" on King # 4691. During the summer King does not renew Allen's contract and she is signed by Capitol Records. In October her first for the new label Capitol # 2937 - "Take A Chance On Me" / "No More Lovin'". Annisteen does a tour of one nighters with The Orioles and Joe Morris and his Blues Cavalcade. The tour winds up with a weekend at the Howard Theater in Washington D.C. At year's end, Capitol # 3000 is released - "I've Got Troubles" and "Nothing Can Replace You".

In February of 1955, Capitol releases "Fujiyama Mama" and "Wheels Of Love" on # 3048. The record immediately takes off with its novelty approach to the modern sound and quickly there appears a pop cover version of "Fujiyama" done by Eileen Barton for Coral. The follow up is on # 3161 - "Mine All Mine" and "I'm Still In Love With You". In July Annisteen Allen takes part in the big Hal Jackson R & B Revue at the Apollo Theater in New York, then heads to Philadelphia for a stint at Pep's. Soon after, Annisteen Allen fades from the music scene.
Allen died at 71 in 1992. JCMarion

2 comments:

mook said...

Heard fujiyama mama on the radio a few days ago. What a great track!

L

mook said...

Ahhh... it was the Wanda Jackson cover of fujiyama mama I heard. Still, fantastic track. I'd love to hear the original.

L