Like so many Chicago blues artists, Lil Green first learned her craft in the church and country jukes down in Mississippi. After moving to Chicago in the 1930s, she teamed up with Chicago mainstay Big Bill Broonzy and they worked the club circuit together. Her composition "Romance in the Dark" was a 1940 Bluebird hit and in 1941 she followed it with a best-selling version of fellow Mississippi Joe McCoy's minor-key blues novelty "Why Don't You Do Right?" By then she had outgrown Big Bill and the tavern scene and moved east to work as a rhythm & blues band vocalist. For the next ten years she enjoyed a successful career touring theaters and clubs and recording for RCA, Aladdin, and Atlantic, all major R&B labels.