Lila was exiled in late 1949 from California for five years as an “undesirable member of the Motion Picture Profession.” She moved to Chicago to make a new start and found that she had a good singing voice. Her boyfriend, Bud Arvey, formed a management firm and began booking Lila as a vocalist in nightclubs. She performed in Chicago and throughout the Mid West with occasional gigs as far away as Tampa Florida. Her stage presence, charisma and bluesy vocal delivery were an instant smash and she received top dollar for her appearances. Lila would sometimes appear with a trio backing her and at other times with a full band. She performed songs made popular by Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and others. She had a real feel for Billie’s songs of loss and tragedy no doubt due to the traumatic year of 1949 following the bust. There was one instance when both Lila and Billie were playing Chicago at the same time. Lila went to see Billie and they hung out after hours and sang together. Billie told her she was a real jazz singer who could really put over torch songs. Lila toured extensively for the next few years and was usually held over for additional weeks due to the enthusiastic response by audiences.