Liz Tilton
  • Birth Name

    Elizabeth Tilton
  • Born

    December 2, 1918
  • Died

    March 13, 2003 (age 84)
  • Orchestras

    Kenny Baker
    Bob Crosby
    Tommy Dorsey
    Jan Garber
    Gene Krupa
    Ray Noble
    Buddy Rogers

Liz Tilton began her career singing with Ken Baker’s West Coast swing band in the mid-1930s. Though never as popular as her older sister, Benny Goodman vocalist Martha, Tilton kept busy as a chirp well into the mid-1940s, working with Buddy Rogers’ swing outfit in 1938, Ray Noble in early 1940, and Bob Crosby’s band in 1941. She also cut a solo soundie, “Abercrombie Had a Zombie,” in 1941 with RCM. The song, described by Billboard as “zany,” also featured “eccentric dancer” Lee Murray.[1]

Tilton joined Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra in April 1943 but stayed only two months, leaving in June to go solo. She’d joined Jan Garber’s swing band by September, however, proving very popular with audiences and critics. She remained with Garber until July 1944 when she retired from show business to become a “full-time housewife.” She was back on the stage in February 1946, though, for a short stay with Gene Krupa’s orchestra, replacing Anita O’Day.

Tilton continued working into the 1950s, singing with Clyde McCoy’s orchestra in 1952 and dueting with her sister on Coral Records as The Liltin’ Tiltons in 1953. She was often bill by her full name, Elizabeth Tilton, as well as the more familiar Liz.


  1. The “zombie” in question was the name of a popular alcoholic drink. This was well before the word came to have its modern meaning. Zombies in the 1940s were not the brain-eating undead creatures as we know them today. That image became the norm after the 1960s, influenced by director Roger Corman’s Living Dead films. The term zombie in the 1940s meant someone who was still alive but under the control of another person by hypnotism or drugs.


Previous <<
Play > Pause ||
Next >>
0:00 / 0:00
Select a song to play
Play All
  • You Can't Be Mine (And Someone Else's Too)
    Buddy Rogers (Liz Tilton), Vocalion (1938)
  • Shoo Shoo Baby
    Jan Garber (Liz Tilton), Hit (1943)
  • They're Either Too Young or Too Old
    Jan Garber (Liz Tilton), Hit (1943)

All recordings are from the Internet Archive's 78rpm collection. Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


We embed media from YouTube and the Internet Archive. Items may disappear on those services without notice. If you run across something that's no longer available, please let us know so we can remove the embed.

Copyright owners, please see our removal policy.


  1. Simon, George T. The Big Bands. 4th ed. New York: Schirmer, 1981. Print.
  2. The Online Discographical Project, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2018.
  3. Buddy Rogers. “You Can't Be Mine.” Vocalion, 1938. Ray Noble. “Sweet Potato Piper.” Columbia 35292, 1940. “Movie Machine Review.” Billboard 1 Aug. 1942: 63. Print.
  4. “Betty Brewer Newest T. Dorsey Thrush.” Billboard 26 Jun. 1943: 24. Print.
  5. “On the Stand.” Billboard 25 Sep. 1943: 14. Print.
  6. “Music Grapevine.” Billboard 8 Jul. 1944: 19. Print.
  7. “Birds Fleeing Cages at fast Clip -- Subs Fill.” Billboard 9 Feb. 1946: 16. Print.
  8. Clyde McCoy. “To Be Loved By You.” Capitol 2045, 1952.