Ivie Anderson was a classy yet swinging singer, the best that Duke Ellington ever had. Early on she worked at the Cotton Club in shows and sang with Anson Weeks, Curtis Mosby, Paul Howard's Quality Serenaders, and Earl Hines (1930). And then, from February 1931 until 1942, Ivie Anderson was an integral part of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, introducing "It Don't Mean a Thing" and singing such numbers as "Stormy Weather," "I'm Checkin' Out -- Go'om Bye," and a variety of pop tunes. When she left Ellington, it was because of asthma. She opened up a restaurant in Los Angeles and recorded eight songs in 1946, but her illness eventually struck her down.