The story of pioneering blues singer Ma Rainey, whose warmth and presentation led to her becoming the greatest performer in the early years of blues music. Ma and Pa Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Early in 1904, Will Pa Rainey, a singer, dancer, and comedian, was smitten by Gertrude’s charms. Like her labelmate Blind Lemon Jefferson, Ma was celebrated with a special souvenir record label bearing her image, a forerunner of the picture disc album of the 1970s and modern imprinted CD. .Ink Williams introduced Ma Rainey to Thomas Dorsey, a skilled piano player and blues composer who’d later write Precious Lord and become the beloved The Father of Gospel Music. Dorsey found her grand, gracious, and easy to talk with, and agreed to direct her touring group, the Wildcats Jazz Band.
The Queen of the Blues’ Mamie Smith has the distinction of being the first African-American to record a vocal blues. Recorded on August 10 1920, Crazy Blues established the now classic lyrical blues theme of tainted love ("The man I love/He don't treat me right/He makes me feel so blue?I don't know what to do’). Mamie put in an incredible, lung-shredding performance on Crazy Blues which became a million seller in less than a year. Female artists owned the blues in the 1920s. Thanks to Mamie Smith, female blues artists were in hot demand and one of the first to make her mark was Ma Rainey, aka the ‘Mother of the Blues. Her self-titled 1971 debut album established her as a serious blues artist with killer guitar chops. Her tenth album, 1989’s Nick of Time, was a smash hit selling six million copies.
Nicknamed the Mother of the Blues, Ma Rainey was one of the first professional African American blue singers. The moaning songstress made her first album in 1923, making her one of the first blues singers to record. She went on to record nearly 100 sides between 1923 and 1928. Rainey toured with her husband Will Rainey in their band Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues, and later she recorded with Louis Armstrong, and the Georgia Jazz Band. She continued to tour until her retirement in 1935. Bonnie Raitt is the modern day blues queen
Appointed "Mother of the Blues" during her '20s heyday, singer Ma Rainey was one of the best of the many classic female blues singers of the period. An inspiration to the "Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith, Rainey was a Georgia native who was discovered in Chicago during the early '20s. While not the possessor of a voice as powerful as Smith 's, Rainey still cut a slew of strong sides featuring a fine blend of country blues intensity and jazz-band sophistication. This excellent Yazoo collection captures Rainey in her prime from 1924-1928
Hear ma rainey sing Farewell daddy blues in this 1924 recording. lt; . Ma and Pa Rainey performed in a number of minstrel and tent shows together throughout their marriage, including the famous Rabbit Foot Minstrels. This marker was placed by the Mississippi Blues Commission in Port Gibson, Mississippi, as part of the Mississippi Blues Trail.
Ma Rainey came to love the genre so much that she soon started performing blues songs. Her performances thrilled audiences, putting her on the path to become one of the early blues greats. Some scholars have said Rainey influenced younger performers, such as Bessie Smith, the blues singer she met in 1912. But it’s unclear if Rainey really acted as a mentor to Smith, whose singing style differed from hers. Well into the 1910s, Rainey continued to enjoy musical success, performing with Fat Chappelle's Rabbit Foot Minstrels as well as Tolliver's Circus and Musical Extravaganza
Madame Rainey, as Gertrude Pridgett Rainey liked to be called, is known as the "Mother of the Blues. The first big star of the 1920s vaudeville circuit, she worked for years without a record contract, even while helping young singers such as Bessie Smith get started. She also gave a boost to a young band leader named Louis Armstrong. Her fame was immortalized by August Wilson's Broadway hit, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," which was named for one of her signature songs. Victoria Spivey & Sippie Wallace
Ma Rainey was singing the blues before they even had a name. She didn't have the best voice, but she changed the face of American music. Born in 1886, the Mother of Blues Ma Rainey began her singing career on the tent show circuit at the age of 14. She first discovered this new kind of music when a girl came to the tent one morning and began to sing about the ‘man’ who had left her, John Work wrote about an interview with Rainey from the 1930s. The song was so strange and poignant that it attracted much attention. Ma Rainey became so interested in it that she learned the song from the visitor and used it soon afterward in her act as an encore
Ma Rainey – Countin’ The Blues 62. Corey Harris – Greens From The Garden 63. Bukka White – The Vintage Recordings (1930 – 1940) 6. 1. Lonesome Road Blues: 15 Years In The Mississippi Delta, 1926-1941 2. Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues 3. Deep Blues 4. Essential Piano Blues 5. Century Of The Blues 6. New Orleans Blues (1940-1953) 7. Friends Of Charlie Patton 8. Chess: 50th Anniversary Collection 9. Knives, Bottles & Steel 10. The Real Excello R&B.