Zilla Mays

Profile:
Zilla Mays, later sometimes credited Zilla Mayes (September 1, 1931 – September 19, 1995), and later Zilla Mays Hinton, was an American R&B and gospel singer who became a popular radio DJ and community leader in Atlanta. She was the first African-American female radio announcer in Georgia, and only the third in the United States. She was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and started singing in church. By her teens, she had started performing with her brother's band, the Roy Mays All Stars, which later became the Willie Mays Blues Caravan.("Willie" was Roy Mays' nickname.) After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School, she studied at Reed Business College while continuing her singing career. In late 1950, she was signed as a blues singer by Savoy Records in Newark, New Jersey. She made her first recordings in early 1951, but none were issued until the Coral label released "I'll Keep Singing My Song" in late 1952. The following year, she signed for the Mercury label and recorded with the John Peek orchestra, releasing the singles "If You Were On The Other Side", "Seems Like You Just Don't Care", and "Don't Take My Good Love Away".
In 1954 she began broadcasting on radio station WAOK in Atlanta, where she was known as "The Mystery Lady" as her identity was not disclosed to listeners. After it was revealed in 1955, she was known as "The Dream Girl", and often performed on-air with Piano Red. She also continued to record in the mid-1950s, for labels including Groove, a subsidiary of RCA, and then Atco.
She continued as a popular radio personality and community leader in the Atlanta area and was instrumental in bringing live R&B and gospel music to the area. Her career increasingly turned to gospel music, broadcasting a regular "Cathedral of Friends" Sunday program as well as a regular gospel show. In 1961, Checker Records released an album, Prayers for Jackie, and the same year she recorded another album, for the NRC label, The Men I Love And The Songs They Sing. She also continued to work with Piano Red in shows and on radio. In about 1968, she recorded a version of Allen Toussaint's “All I Want Is You” for his Tou-Sea label. Her radio show on WAOK changed to a gospel format in the late 1970s.
She won a Pioneer Award from the NAACP in 1986. After spending almost 40 years at WAOK, she died in Atlanta in 1995 at the age of 64.
In Groups:
Variations:
[a1419416]

Artist

Albums

NRC-LPA-9 Zilla Mays - The Men I Love And The Songs They Sang album art Zilla Mays The Men I Love And The Songs They Sang (Album) National Recording Corporation NRC-LPA-9 US 1960 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

70313 Zilla Mays - You Just Don't Care / Take Your Time album art Zilla Mays You Just Don't Care / Take Your Time (Single) Mercury 70313 US 1954 Sell This Version
70253X45 Zilla Mays - Thank You album art Zilla Mays Thank You(7") Mercury 70253X45 US 1954 Sell This Version
4G-0127 Zilla Mays - Come Back To Me / Right Now album art Zilla Mays With The Four Students / Zilla Mays Zilla Mays With The Four Students / Zilla Mays - Come Back To Me / Right Now(7", Promo) Groove (3) 4G-0127 US 1955 Sell This Version
10558 Zilla Mays - Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall / Old Buttermilk Sky album art Zilla* and Jay* Zilla* and Jay* - Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall / Old Buttermilk Sky ABC-Paramount 10558 US 1964 Sell This Version
132 Zilla Mays - I Love You Still / All I Want Is You album art Zilla Mayes* I Love You Still / All I Want Is You (Single) Tou-Sea Records 132 US 1968 Sell This Version
JBJ-1046 Zilla Mays - Calypso Blues album art Zilla Mayes* / Ray Johnson Zilla Mayes* / Ray Johnson - Calypso Blues(7", Single) Juke Jam JBJ-1046 UK 2013 Sell This Version