Ma Rainey, singer
birth name: Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett

Ma Rainey

April 26, 1886, Columbus, GA ~ December 22, 1939, Columbus, GA

Her performances have left a legacy of glamour, and recollections of Ma Rainey on stage include legends of her opening act of hiding inside an empty Victrola box and then emerging - decked out in sequins and a necklace made of gold twenty-dollar coins - singing Moonshine Blues to wild applause. ~ The Abbeville Blog: Ma Rainey ~ March 4, 2013 © The Abbeville Blog

It was not until 1923 that Ma Rainey signed a recording contract with Paramount. She was billed as the “Mother of the Blues,” which wasn't far off the mark. Few historians can point to any real Blues singers before Ma Rainey. She ended up recording 100 songs between 1923 and 1928 on Paramount Records. During that time she was accompanied by many noted jazz musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Tommy Ladnier and Fletcher Henderson and Coleman Hawkins. ~ Red Hot Jazz: Ma Rainey ~ retrieved July 1, 2015 © Red Hot Jazz

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April 26, 1975 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (5) Tony Orlando & Dawn, He Don't Love You (Like I Love You) ~ #2 (1) The Elton JOhn Band, Philadelphia Freedom ~ #1 (2) B.J. Thomas, (Hey Won't You Play) Another SOmebody Done Somebody Wrong Song


Ma Rainey was known for her very powerful vocal abilities, energetic disposition, majestic phrasing, and a 'moaning’ style of singing. Her powerful voice was never adequately captured on her records, due to her recording exclusively for Paramount, which was at the time known for its below-average recording techniques and poor shellac quality. However, Rainey's other qualities are present and most evident in her early recordings, Bo-weevil Blues and Moonshine Blues. ~ Wikipedia: Ma Rainey ~ retrieved July 1, 2015 © Wikipedia

Ma Rainey ~ Inducted in the 1983 Big Band And Jazz Hall Of Fame.

Ma Rainey & Her Tub Jug Washboard Band ~ Prove It On Me Blues ~ Named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock & Roll in 1995.

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