BUTTERBEANS and SUSIE
Butterbeans and Susie were a husband and wife double-act who took their vaudeville revue around the Southern circuit and the big cities for many decades. With Susie as the overbearing but frustrated wife and Butterbeans as the inadequate but wise-cracking husband, they combined the hilarity of their skits on domestic life with Blues songs laced with sexual innuendo. Too raunchy to get much exposure with white audiences, they were a household name in the African-American community. They made dozens of records back in the 20s, when steamy ‘hokum‘ Blues had a period of popularity, and they cut their final sessions in 1960.
‘Elevator Papa, Switchboard Mama’;
When the economic Depression of the 30s destroyed record sales, Butterbeans and Susie continued playing the clubs and theatres. The same basic stage act saw them through the 40s and 50s, with songs updated to appeal to new audiences, playing the industrial cities of the North and remaining popular all over the South. In 1960, they recorded an album of their favourite numbers but, sadly, Susie passed away in 1963 and ‘Butterbeans’ followed her four years later.