Life is too short for boring music

Posts Tagged ‘Divas’

HATTIE McDANIEL

There were many pioneers of racial equality in 20th Century America, but few made breakthroughs in as many areas as Hattie McDaniel. She was the first African American to win an Oscar; probably the first to sing on radio; the first to take the lead rôle in a radio series; first to have two ‘stars’…

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CLARA SMITH

Clara Smith was one of the first of the Blues Divas, who dominated the market for ‘race music‘ in the early 20s, when recording opportunities first opened up for African American artists. Known as the ‘Queen of the Moaners’, Clara’s voice was actually light and sweet, but she first used it to express her inner…

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EDITH WILSON

Edith Wilson was one of the early ‘Divas’ who recorded Blues songs for the newly discovered ‘race market‘ in the early 20s. She had quite a few hit records and went on to find fame in the entertainment industry as a singer on stage and in nightclubs. She toured widely with her comedy revues, sang…

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SALLIE MARTIN

‘The Mother of Gospel Music’ may have preferred Sacred songs to ‘the Devil’s Music’, but her uninhibited and passionate vocal style had a lot in common with the best Blues singers of the day. As a famous exponent of the Rev. Thomas A Dorsey’s compositions in the 30s and a co-founder with him of The…

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SARA MARTIN

Sara Martin was already 38 years old, with a long career behind her as a vaudeville singer, when she cut her first record for the Okeh label. Her big, rich voice; her stylish stage presence; her choice of some outstanding material and some shrewd publicity made her one of the most successful Blues Divas of…

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MAMIE SMITH

Mamie Smith has gained legendary status as the first person to record a Blues record, and her vaudeville style rendition of Perry Bradford’s ‘Crazy Blues’ in July 1920 achieved phenomenal sales, bringing about the birth of what was called ‘race music‘. This event was the first realisation that there was a big demand among the…

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MONETTE MOORE

Monette Moore was a talented theatre pianist with a good voice, who was picked up by ‘Ink’ Williams‘ Paramount label and persuaded to sing the Blues on record. Like many Blues Divas during the expansion of ‘Race Music‘ in the early 20s, Monette was one of the many vaudeville singers who took up the Blues…

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LUCILLE HEGAMIN

Lucille was the best selling Blues Diva in 1921/22 and she was still recording forty years later. Billed as ‘The Georgia Peach’ Lucille Nelson learned to sing in Church and went on the road as a singer in a tent show while she was still a teenager. She married pianist Bill Hegamin in 1914 and…

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IDA COX

Ida Cox was a Blues Diva of the 20s whose songs were specifically addressed to black women in their search for freedom, dignity and respect from society in general and from their men in particular. She was a highly talented lyricist, whose work was used by others in their own songs, so that many phrases…

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SIPPIE WALLACE

Sippie Wallace knew about the Blues because she was part of its roots. She was one of the original Blues Divas; a talented young songwriter, a riveting performer and a most respected artist who became a best-seller in the early days of ‘race music‘,  but she also knew about the suffering and loss that gives…

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