b. USA. Rumoured to be Dinah Washington’s favourite singer and a big influence on Joe Williams, Annie Laurie sang professionally with the territory bands led by Snookum Russell and Dallas Bartley (the latter with whom she made her recording debut - ‘St. Louis Blues’ - in 1945), before arriving in New Orleans where she was hired by Paul Gayten. With Gayten’s band she had a string of successful records between 1947 and 1950, such as her covers of Buddy Johnson’s ‘Since I Fell For You’ on DeLuxe Records and Lucky Millinder’s ‘I’ll Never Be Free’ on Regal - both of which spawned numerous cover versions. Following Regal’s demise in 1951, Annie Laurie commenced her solo career on Columbia Records’ reactivated OKeh Records subsidiary, subsequently recording for Savoy (1956), DeLuxe again (1956-59 - where she had her biggest hit in 1957 with ‘It Hurts To Be In Love’), and Ritz (1962). In the 60s she gave up secular singing and has devoted her voice to the church ever since.See also Dinah Washington, Joe Williams, Territory Bands, Paul Gayten, Buddy Johnson, Lucky Millinder, OKeh Records.