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"MA" RAINEY

(1886 - 1939)
(Born April 26, 1886, Columbus, Georgia; died December 22, 1939, Columbus, Georgia)

"Ma" Rainey was born Gertrude Pridgett, April 26, 1886, Columbus, Georgia.  Along with Bessie Smith, "Ma" Rainey is regarded as the best of the 1920s classic blues singers. 

She was most likely the first woman to incorporate blues into minstrel and vaudeville stage shows, perhaps as early as 1902.

Rainey is often called the "Mother of the Blues" since she inspired many of the female blues singers who followed her.  Her influence was profound, despite the fact that before her recording debut she rarely performed outside the south.

Rainey's vocal delivery was closer to the raw, earthy blues style of southern country blues artist than more urbanized, cabaret-like presentation of the female blues singers who began recording in the early 1920s.

On her best records, Rainey sang with a rootsy, homespun authenticity; thus, Rainy is the all-important connection between male-dominated country blues and female-dominated urban blues in the 1920s.

Robert Santelli -- The Big Book of Blues : A Biographical Encyclopedia.


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DIXIE

BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC



MY MUSICAL LIFE
By Carl P. McConnell

Mabel McConnell talks about the Carter Family, Doc & Carl,
The Original Virginia Boys and the early days of radio.



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