|Lillian Briggs, Follow The Leader
Lillian Briggs, real name Lillian Biggs, was a former laundry truckdriver. The late Alan Freed thought she had a tremendous stage presence and he included Lillian on the bill in many of the shows he produced in New York at this time. She would come out on stage in a skin-tight silver or gold lamé dress which she seemed to have been poured into and then proceeded to break up the audience with her trombone-playing and her singing. Her biggest hit was a vocal "I want you to be my baby" release on Epic in the fall of 1955. My personal favourite is a fast paced rocking song called "Follow the leader". The only album I have from this rocking lady is an Italian release called "Historia del Rock & Roll No. 19" which was sent me by an Italian friend. I still owe him many thanks, because this is one of the best compilations in my collection.
This is part of a letter I got from a friend-of-a-friend, Leiman J. Schiller, who knew Lillian personaly:
I met Lillian almost 15 years ago through Lucille Ball, who was a mutual friend. As I got to know Lillian, it was clear that her career in the entertainment industry and business interests in Turnberry Isle on the Florida Intracoastal, coupled with her charismatic personality, had resulted in a celebrity roster of friends that was almost unbelievable. To put it simply: Lillian knew everyone! Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Streisand, Burt Reynolds, Merv Griffin, Sammy Davis Jr., Connie Francis, Patsy Cline, Nat King Cole.. etc., etc.. Lillian was an original blonde bombshell. A 'broad' (in the best sense of the word) tough and tender, funny and sensitive and just about the most loyal and trustworthy friend anyone could ever wish for. It was a privilege to be her pal. Lillian was loved dearly by me and so many others. She will be very much missed.
Leiman J. Schiller - May 29, 1998
Daily Variety Obituary
Lillian Briggs, a former recording artist and performer during the 1950s and 60s, died April 11, 1998 of lung cancer in North Miami Beach, Fla. She was 64. A native of Allentown, Pa., Briggs, who's real name was Lillian Biggs, began her career as a trombonist in her hometown and later joined an all-girl orchestra in 1952. Two years later she was discovered by talent scout Jack Petrill, who launched her solo career. That same year she signed a recording contract with Epic Records and waxed "I want you to be my baby" which sold over a million copies.
During the peak of her career (1954-64) she appeared on numerous TV shows including Jack Paar's "Tonight Show", "The Mike Douglas Show", "American Bandstand" and "The Steve Allen Show" and featured in the Jerry lewis starrer "Ladies man". Lillian also recorded several songs on the soundtracks of three Hollywood films: "The Fugitive Kind", "Mr. Wonderful" and "My sister Eileen".
Lillian toured extensively until the early 70s, when she relocated to Miami Beach and became a co-partner in a lucrative waterfront resort called Turnberry Isle. Living a jet-set lifestyle during the 80s, she loaned her yacht "Monkey Business" to numerous friends, including former senator Gary hart and Donna Rice. She is survived by two brothers and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom reside in Allentown, Pa.
Source: Daily Variety - Wednesday, May 6, 1998
Lillian Biggs, 64, died of lung cancer, April 11 at her home in North Miami. A native of Allentown, Pa., Briggs (known proffesionally as Briggs) started her career as a trombonist in an all-female orchestra. A talent scout noticed her and launched her career as a soloist. Her first release for Epic Records "I want you to be my baby", sold more than a million copies. She also recorded albums for Paramount, Coral, Sunbeam and Phillips. She also starred in "The Ladies Man" with Jerry Lewis and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Source: Billboard News Weekly - May 9, 1998
- I want you to be my baby - Epic/CBS 5-9115 (ZSP-3660)
- Boogie blues - Epic/CBS LWB-0100
- I'm burning for you - ABC/Paramount 4510253
- Can't stop - Epic/CBS 5-9138 (JZSP-37333)
- Follow the leader - Epic/CBS 5-9141 (JZSP-3765)
- The only way to live - Epic/CBS 5-9141 (JZSP-3765)
- Come here - Sunbeam 104S-107
- Will we meet again? - Sunbeam 104S-108
- The teens in jeans from New Orleans - Epic/CBS 5-9151 (JZSP-37683)
- Eddie my love - Epic/CBS 5-9151 (JZSP-37683)
- I'll be gone - Epic/CBS 5-9190 (JZSP-34260)
- Mean words - Epic/CBS 5-9190 (JZSP-34261)
- Rock & roly poly Santa Claus Epic/CBS 5-9138 (JZSP-37332)
- Blues in the night - Coral 962130
- Is there a man in the house - Coral 962100
- Be mine - Coral 962193
- Not a soul - Coral 962193
- Hooray for rock! - Coral 962156
- Hey, ba-ba-re-bob - Sunbeam 114JO8W0612
- I've got a heart - Sunbeam 114JO8W0613
- Rag mop - Coral 962108
- Smile for the people - Coral 962109
- That's what it's like to be lonesome - Coral 962223
- I care for you - Coral 962223
- Diddy boppers - Coral 962156
- Sugar blues - Epic/CBS 5-9114 (JZSP-41241)
- Too close for comfort - Epic/CBS 5-9166 (JZSP-38430)
- The gypsy goofed - Epic/CBS 5-9166 (JZSP-38407)
- Give me a band and my baby Epic/CBS 5-9171 (JZSP-39413)
- Don't stay away too long - Epic/CBS 5-9115 (JZSP-36605)
- I - Epic/CBS 5-9249 (JZSP-42442)
- Le Grande Priestess de Rock & Roll - Phillips 426032BE
- Historia Del Rock No. 1 - El Cocodrilo JLA00.0070