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Ma Rainey (1928)

Ma Rainey

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Album Review

Nobody could belt it out like Ma Rainey, and here's a great collection that showcases it. All of the lady's biggest hits ("See See Rider," "Jealous Hearted Blues," "Black Cat, Hoot Owl Blues," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom") are here, and the sound is as good as one can expect from the old Paramount 78s, probably the worst-pressed discs of the 1920s. Still, Ma's ebullient personality comes through the hisses and pops and scratches loud and clear. An essential blues buy for the collection.

Biography

Born: 26 April 1886 in Columbus, GA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s

Ma Rainey wasn't the first blues singer to make records, but by all rights she probably should have been. In an era when women were the marquee names in blues, Rainey was once the most celebrated of all; the "Mother of the Blues" had been singing the music for more than 20 years before she made her recording debut (Paramount, 1923). With the advent of blues records, she became even more influential, immortalizing such songs as "See See Rider," "Bo-Weavil Blues," and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Like...
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Ma Rainey (1928), Ma Rainey
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