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The Last of the Red Hot Mamas

Sophie Tucker

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Album Review

From her years in vaudeville Sophie Tucker learned how to make physical and vocal gestures that were bigger than life and she fashioned a bawdy persona through her recordings that made her a household name in the 1920s and '30s. But she understood jazz, too, and her best sides show the subtle touches of a solid singer, while even her most over-the-top comedic tracks worked largely due to her impeccable vocal timing. This set of mono recordings released between 1923 and 1937 includes her signature tune, the still impressive "Some of These Days," a fine turn on "I Ain't Got Nobody," and a slightly theatrical but still effective reading of "Blue River." In all, Last of the Red Hot Mamas makes a fine introduction to this oft-cited but seldom actually listened to entertainer.


Born: 13 January 1884 in Tulchyn, Ukraine

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '10s, '20s

Declaring "I'm the Last of the Red Hot Mamas" in one of her best-known songs, Sophie Tucker created a brassy, bawdy persona that made her a smashing success on the vaudeville circuit and the musical stage. Tucker was born Sonia Kalish on January 13, 1884, as her Jewish parents were fleeing Russia for Poland and, by the time Sophie was three, the United States; the family took the last name Abuza as a cover during their flight. After a spell in Boston, her parents opened a restaurant in Hartford,...
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The Last of the Red Hot Mamas, Sophie Tucker
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