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Alberta Hunter Vol. 1 (1921-1923)

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Album Review

The first volume in Document's Complete Recorded Works series of Alberta Hunter compilations includes her earliest recordings from the '20s. Along with a 1922 version of her own song, "Downhearted Blues," which became a hit in the hands of Bessie Smith, the disc includes the classic performances "You Gotta Reap What You Sow" and "Chirpin' the Blues," plus sides recorded with help from some outstanding sidemen: Fletcher Henderson, Eubie Blake, and Don Redman, among others. For less-dedicated listeners, the long running time and poor fidelity will be hard to digest. The serious blues listener will find all these factors to be positive, but casual listeners will find that the collection is of marginal interest for those very reasons.


Born: April 01, 1895 in Memphis, TN

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Alberta Hunter was a pioneering African-American popular singer whose path crosses the streams of jazz, blues and pop music. While she made important contributions to all of these stylistic genres, she is claimed exclusively by no single mode of endeavor. Hunter recorded in six decades of the twentieth century, and enjoyed a career in music that outlasted most human lives. Hunter was born in Memphis, and depending on which account you read, she either ran away from home or her family relocated to...
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Alberta Hunter Vol. 1 (1921-1923), Alberta Hunter
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