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Ma Rainey

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“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 young age

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Article: Radio

New Releases and Celebrations for Blossom Dearie, Ma Rainey and More

Read "New Releases and Celebrations for Blossom Dearie, Ma Rainey and More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast features new releases from the Steven Feifke Big Band, the Alpha Rhythm Kings, Nicki Parrott, Esperanza Spalding, Chien Chien Lu, Norah Jones and the Art of Time Ensemble with birthday shoutouts to Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, Blossom Dearie, Shirley Horn, Connie Crothers, and Mary Ann McSweeney, among others. Thanks for listening and ...

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News: Obituary

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, Iconic And Sophisticated Queen Of The Blues, Dies At 81

Margie Evans, a legendary, international Blues and Gospel entertainer, songwriter, music producer, actress, music historian, community activist and motivational spokeswoman, who broke barriers for African American female Blues performers with poise, dignity and sophistication, died on March 19, 2021. In addition to her musicianship, Evans is noted as an activist for parity in music education as ...

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Article: Interview

Logan Richardson: To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before

Read "Logan Richardson:  To Boldly Go Where No Jazz Has Gone Before" reviewed by Chris May


In a 2016 interview, jny: Kansas City-born alto saxophonist Logan Richardson said: “Jazz will constantly change because there's constantly a new us, new times. There will always be a fight from the conformists--but they don't represent where the tradition is coming from." Richardson was talking not long after the release of his adventurous Blue Note album, ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums

Read "Impulse! Records: An Alternative Top 20 Zeitgeist Seizing Albums" reviewed by Chris May


There can be little argument that a jazz label ever captured a zeitgeist more completely than Impulse! did during its original 1960s incarnation. In the US, the fight back against white racism was cresting, opposition to the Vietnam war was growing, outrage over the assassinations of figures of hope such as President Kennedy, Martin Luther King ...

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Article: Radio

Yonder Come the Blues - Happy Birthday to Dorothy Donegan, Ma Rainey and Ella Fitzgerald

Read "Yonder Come the Blues - Happy Birthday to Dorothy Donegan, Ma Rainey and Ella Fitzgerald" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


The final broadcast of Jazz Appreciation Month includes new releases from vocalist Lauren Henderson and the JC Hopkins Biggish Band, with birthday shout-outs to pianist Dorothy Donegan (pictured), Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey and legendary vocalist Ella Fitzgerald. Thanks for your continued support and please support these artists and their music. Playlist Dorothy ...

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Article: Profile

Cotton Pickin' Blues

Read "Cotton Pickin' Blues" reviewed by Martin McFie


Blues began with enslaved African peoples' work songs in the cotton fields of the Deep South of America. The Slave Narrative of Mr. Sam Polite, given at 93 years of age, chronicles that life. It was written on St. Helena, a cotton producing Sea Island in the Carolinas, where Mr. Polite was born into slavery. The ...

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Article: Radio

Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie

Read "Salutes to Ma Rainey, Ella Fitzgerald and Blossom Dearie" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Winding up Jazz Appreciation Month with special birthday shout outs to the Mother of the Blues Ma Rainey, pianist Dorothy Donegan, vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand and Blossom Dearie, among others, with new concept recordings from Nancy Kelly (a tribute to Mark Murphy) , Christina Morrison (duets with five other women vocalists) and Ellynne Rey (a ...

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Article: Album Review

Troels Jensen and The Healers feat. Miriam Mandipira: My Love

Read "My Love" reviewed by Chris Mosey


After studying music in her native Zimbabwe, Miriam Mandipira moved from that unhappy country, first to South Africa, then 10 years ago to Denmark. Here she became a mainstay of the local blues scene. Her influences, she said, were Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith but she sounded more like Aretha Franklin and Randy Crawford and still ...

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Article: Book Review

The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff

Read "The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville by Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


The Original Blues: The Emergence of the Blues in African American Vaudeville Lynn Abbott and Doug Seroff 420 Pages ISBN: # 978-1496810021 University Press of Mississippi 2017 In the late 1970s, I began a more academic approach to blues music. In addition to listening to the music, I began ...


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