“Mother of the Blues”
The first popular stage entertainer to incorporate authentic
blues in her song repertoire, Ma Rainey performed during
the first three decades of the twentieth century, enjoying
widespread popularity during the blues craze of the 1920s.
Her consistency over her five year recording career and
the high quality of her accompanist’s portray her talents as
far more worthwhile than those of many blues singers.
Gertrude Pridgett was born on April 26, 1886, in Columbus,
Georgia. Her parents were minstrel show performers, and
she went right into the entertainment business since a