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When Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (1886-1939) — known as “The Mother of Blues”— sang, “It’s true I wear a collar and a tie … Talk to the gals just like any old man,” in 1928′s “Prove It on Me,” she was flirting with scandal, challenging the listener to catch her in a lesbian affair

When Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (1886-1939) — known as “The Mother of Blues”— sang, “It’s true I wear a collar and a tie … Talk to the gals just like any old man,” in 1928′s “Prove It on Me,” she was flirting with scandal, challenging the listener to catch her in a lesbian affair

Meet Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Mother of the Blues and Lover of Women: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey

Meet Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Mother of the Blues and Lover of Women: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey

Ma Rainey (April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues.  She began performing at the age of 12 or 14, and recorded under the name Ma Rainey. Ma Rainey made over 100 recordings. Some of them include, Bo-weevil Blues (1923), Moonshine Blues (1923), See See Rider (1924), Black Bottom (1927), and Soon This Morning (1927).

Ma Rainey (April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues. She began performing at the age of 12 or 14, and recorded under the name Ma Rainey. Ma Rainey made over 100 recordings. Some of them include, Bo-weevil Blues (1923), Moonshine Blues (1923), See See Rider (1924), Black Bottom (1927), and Soon This Morning (1927).

Ma Rainey Ma Rainey (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett; c. April 26 1886  December 22 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues.  She began performing as a young teenager (between the ages of 12 and 14) and performed under the name Ma Rainey after she and Will Rainey were married in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own…

Ma Rainey Ma Rainey (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett; c. April 26 1886 December 22 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues. She began performing as a young teenager (between the ages of 12 and 14) and performed under the name Ma Rainey after she and Will Rainey were married in 1904. They toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels and later formed their own…

Ma Rainey's protégé and master of dirty "hokum" blues, Bessie Smith kept a female lover on the road with her.

Ma Rainey's protégé and master of dirty "hokum" blues, Bessie Smith kept a female lover on the road with her.

1923- Ma Rainey makes her first recording. Over the next five years, she will make over 100 records, earning her the title "Mother of the Blues". A number of these will have explicit lesbian content, & in 1925 Rainey will be arrested for throwing an orgy for her chorus girls. She will be bailed out by fellow blues legend Bessie Smith. As the Harlem scene dries up, Rainey will move to Georgia in 1935, where she will be active in the Baptist church.

1923- Ma Rainey makes her first recording. Over the next five years, she will make over 100 records, earning her the title "Mother of the Blues". A number of these will have explicit lesbian content, & in 1925 Rainey will be arrested for throwing an orgy for her chorus girls. She will be bailed out by fellow blues legend Bessie Smith. As the Harlem scene dries up, Rainey will move to Georgia in 1935, where she will be active in the Baptist church.

“Ma” Rainey (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett; c. April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues. She began performing as a young teenager (between the ages...Read More »

“Ma” Rainey (born Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett; c. April 26, 1886 – December 22, 1939) was one of the earliest known American professional blues singers and one of the first generation of such singers to record. She was billed as The Mother of the Blues. She began performing as a young teenager (between the ages...Read More »

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