Miss You So : Lillian Offitt©2006JCMarion


Lillian Offitt was born in November of 1938 near Nashville, Tennessee. She had always been interested in music and began to seriously think of being a performer during her days as a student at Tennessee State University. As a teenager she was able to get the attention of the people at Nashville's Excello Records label. In March of 1957 she made her first record for the label with "Miss You So" and "If You Only Knew" released on # 2104. The 'A' side "Miss You So" starts out as a good seller on the R & B charts. In June Offitt goes to Chicago and makes some personal appearances in support of her record which shows up as a top seller in that city. In August in Gary, Indiana, a big show honoring Vivian Carter on her eighth anniversary at radio station WWCA includes Lillian Offitt performing live. Also on the bill are Magic Sam, The Spaniels, Dale Hawkins, The Dells, and many others. During Labor Day week in Chicago, Lillian appears with Al Benson at the Regal Theater along with Red Prysock, Sil Austin, Amos Milburn, Ivory Joe Hunter, and The Spaniels. In September Lillian signs on for a five week tour through the south and southwest along with Lowell Fulson, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and Ernie Freeman. The tour will kick off in Oklahoma City.

Late in the year Lillian Offitt moves to Chicago where she has a steady number of club dates and soon records her second side for Excello Records. "Just Lonesome That's All" and "Darling I'll Forgive You" on # 2124. Through the early months of 1958 Offitt tries to repeat the success of "Miss You So" and in the spring Excello releases "Darling Please Don't Change" and "Can't Go On" on # 2139. This record too fails to break into the top sellers and fails to get considerable airplay and soon Excello drops her from the label's roster. In 1959 she begins an extended stay as vocalist with Earl Hooker and his combo. She is signed to record for the local Chief Records label in Chicago. "The Man Won't Work" and "Will My Man Be Home Tonight?" on Chief # 7012. Continuing into the nineteen sixties, Lillian Offitt continues to perform and record with Earl Hooker. "Oh Mama" and "My Man Is A Lover" is issued by Chief on # 7015. In late 1960 her last effort for Chief is "Troubles" and "Shine On" on # 7029. She appeared at such Chicago clubs as Roberts Show Lounge and the Shangri-La. Offitt then worked outside of the music field for many years in Chicago.

That is the rather short story of R & B singer Lillian Offitt. Her first record, the hit "Miss You So" is still remembered today and is included on many compilation cds of Chicago Rhythm & Blues of the fifties.

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