ma rainey and bessie smith

By the early teens, blues music had become somewhat in vogue, mostly owing to the instrumental music coming out of New Orleans. (Incidentally, both Rainey and Smith would record with Louis Armstrong, who did more than anyone to advance jazz in the 1920s.). Rainey recorded for Paramount for five years and had many hits, some of which she wrote herself. The most shocking one of course will be watching Ma Rainey have a girlfriend called Dussie Mae, who although fictional, does highlight a very significant part of the singer's life. eventAction: 'render' Georgia Born Gertrude Pridgett (1886- In popular music, there are certain singers who seem to be what the French call sui generis – true originals who appear out of nowhere and so dominate their chosen style of music that they come to define it. From Ma Rainey on Netflix and the Billie Holiday doc to a new book on Bessie Smith, the fearless innovators of American roots music are being recognised in bold new ways, says Stephanie Phillips Rainey was one of many singers who combined the folk expression of singers who came from the country with the modern, jazzy idioms then emerging from the city. New York: Hyperion, 1995. Performers on the vaudeville circuits of the teens and twenties lived a harsh existence of constant travel, dealing with unscrupulous promoters and bad accommodations. eventAction: 'view' Bessie started out as a street musician in Chattanooga. Achetez neuf ou d'occasion Smith was impressed by the stage presence of this woman who was not much older than she chronologically, but who possessed the kind of experience that made her seem like a much older woman. While Ma Rainey was married to William, her lyrics were heavy on lesbian content. She was also about 14 when she began to perform with Black minstrel troupes in roaming “tent shows” at the turn of the century (minstrel shows are most often perceived as white performers wearing blackface to perform race-based material, but there was also an extensive minstrel circuit of Black performers). document.querySelector("#google_image_div").addEventListener('click',function(){ hitType: 'event', Whether Ma Rainey was directly responsible for Bessie’s interest in women is something we’ll probably never know, but the fact is that after her time in the tent shows, Bessie was more open to alternative lifestyles than before.”. Mentore de Bessie Smith, Ma revendique le même salaire que les hommes et son droit à la liberté. » (Toni Morrison) Blues et féminisme noir explore l'œuvre de deux blueswomen quelque peu oubliées : Gertrude « Ma » Rainey (1886-1939) et Bessie Smith (1894-1937). reporters on a platform technologically tailored to meet the needs of the modern reader. When we think of these types of singers in relation to jazz, we might think of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald or Nina Simone. Still, Smith was grateful for her first job in show business. Paired against her mentor Ma Rainey, however, Smith’s title becomes very debatable. Only on her very early records is there a hint of influence. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. At age eighteen Bessie worked with the Moses Stokes traveling minstrel show, and later with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels under Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. Ma Rainey and Pa Rainey adopted a son named Danny. These renowned educators are just a handful of the many teachers who have transformed people's lives. document.querySelector("#ads").addEventListener('click',function(){ ga('ads.send', { Apart from teaching her the ways of showbiz, there's more that went on. eventCategory: event.slot.getSlotElementId(), But was Ma Rainey really in a relationship with Bessie Smith? pg.acq.push(function() { Notifications can be turned off anytime from browser settings, Ma Rainey, as most might know, was a pivotal inspiration behind Smith's music, but that's not all. Get an intimate look at the king and his wife — the good, the bad and the naughty. Taken together, the divergent styles of Rainey and Smith would largely define the sound of female recorded blues in the early 20s. Surnommée “la mère du blues”, Ma Rainey est une des premières “rock stars” de l’histoire de la musique. window.googletag.cmd.push(function() { Sam Chatom, who played guitar for Ma Rainey, was of the opinion that Rainey and Bessie Smith were themselves involved. While with the Tolliver’s Circus and Musical Extravaganza troupe, she exerted a direct influence on young Bessie Smith. Ma Rainey came to love the genre so much that she soon started performing blues songs. }); Rainey saw the writing on the wall. “I believe she was courting Bessie,” he said. eventAction: 'click_image_ads' Tratta della vita di tre grandi cantanti americane (Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday) strettamente connesse con la diffusione del blues e lascia grande spazio ad alcuni dei testi delle loro canzoni, tra i più significativi. window.googletag.pubads().addEventListener('slotRenderEnded', function(event) { 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' premieres this Friday, December 18, on Netflix. In this light, it has often been suggested that Rainey’s influence over the young Smith was more than professional. Smith would go on to rack up many more hits and become a star. Print. "The Mother of the Blues" came first, but "The Empress of the Blues" took the music to new heights during her eventful and sadly curtailed life. Several of Rainey’s songs contained references to lesbian affairs, and although she was married for decades to Will, it is generally accepted that Rainey was as interested in women as she was in men. The style was fresh, and the subject matter of the songs dealt with the Black experience in America as no previous songs had done. That sexual freedom was as necessary as economic freedom. The determination that fueled the first female African American aviator contributed to her demise at age 34. Print. Smith realized that she had an unusual voice and sang for money on street corners at an early age, accompanied on guitar by Andrew, her younger brother. hitType: 'event', In 2019, a piece in the New York Times aimed to set the record straight regarding her influence, claiming that fellow Blues pioneers Mamie Smith and Bessie Smith … }) However, two circumstances would have a debilitating impact on her career. }); Although Rainey mentored Smith, their careers had reached an equal footing by 1923, and soon the pupil would surpass the teacher. At that time, the main person doing the singing for the show was Rainey. Even in the competitive world of the tent shows, Rainey stood out as a unique performer. Ma Rainey est née à Colombus, en Géorgie, en 1886. Smith was 14 when she first met Rainey around 1912. But her overlooked legacy is being revisited thanks to the release of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom , a film adaptation of August Wilson’s acclaimed 1982 play that arrived on Netflix on Friday . "Generally, Bessie would explore this other world when her marriage was at low ebb, which happened often enough. Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Jackie Mabley, Josephine Baker, and Ethel Waters were all part of this world. As she developed her style, she was able to sing almost any type of song convincingly, from traditional blues to pop music like “After You’ve Gone.” Although there would always be an earthy quality to Smith’s singing, it was never as uncultivated as Rainey’s, which was closer to the sound of country bluesmen like Robert Johnson or Charley Patton, men with a rough-hewn sound who also recorded in the 1920s. Apart from teaching her the ways of showbiz and learning to mark her place in a man's world, especially when it came to her finances, Ma Rainey is said to have also influenced Smith's sexuality aplenty. eventCategory: event.slot.getSlotElementId(), The Great Depression that followed the stock market crash of 1929 impacted record companies just as severely as any other industry, and it took a toll on Smith’s record sales, and her career slumped as a result. pg.acq.push(function() { “Bessie,” HBO’s 2015 Bessie Smith biopic, offers a more nuanced and realistic depiction of Rainey’s queerness, presenting actress Mo’Nique’s character as an older-sister figure to blues legend Bessie Smith, played by Queen Latifah. Bessie Smith was a rough, crude, violent woman. We are one of the world’s fastest growing ga('ads.send', { Rainey was one of the first singers to popularize the style, and Smith was there, paying close attention. Rainey liked the young Smith, and she tried to show her how to navigate the perilous waters of a show business life. hitType: 'event', In 1920, a blues singer named Mamie Smith (no relation to Bessie) recorded “Crazy Blues,” which was so vastly popular that it essentially created an industry for blues songs recorded by women. Although Bessie herself would get married in the early 1920s, she would conduct various affairs with dancers in her shows throughout her career.". }); },false) } The victim of a nasty highway accident involving a merging Nabisco truck, Smith bled to death on a country road when she was thrown from her car. … Life on the road also created an atmosphere that allowed for a more relaxed moral code than society would generally permit. She’s less remembered than Smith these days, but she opened the door for Smith and many others to walk through. Like Rainey, Smith sang songs with explicit lesbian content such as “It’s Dirty But Good” from 1930. }); Ma Rainey, as most might know, was a pivotal inspiration behind Smith's music, but that's not all. Her performances thrilled audiences, putting her on the path to become one of the early blues greats. She was also a frequent visitor to “buffet flats,” party houses (usually located in big cities) where all forms of sexual expression were permissible. MEAWW brings you the best content from its global team of Bessie Smith n'avait que 14 ans lorsqu'elle a rencontré Ma Rainey vers 1912. The myth that she died because she was refused aid at a white hospital is untrue, but the delay in getting her to any hospital quickly enough to treat her external and internal wounds resulted in her early death at age 43. At the time of her death, she was musically transitioning to a more swing-oriented style. eventCategory: event.slot.getSlotElementId(), New generations of listeners can appreciate the artistry of these two giants of the blues through the records they made when they were in their prime – records that document two powerful female voices that changed the course of popular music. Rainey had been picked up at the police station by blues singer Bessie Smith, the highest-paid black entertainer in the entire country, who was also known to sleep with women. let gads_event; }); Ma Rainey, as most might know, was a pivotal inspiration behind Smith's music, but that's not all. The woman who showed Smith the way was another giant in her field. Instead of starting a cat fight, Smith began to study the more experienced woman’s performances, and many people believe she learned her legendary stage presence from Rainey. Achetez et téléchargez ebook Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (English Edition): Boutique Kindle - Blues : Amazon.fr Ducille. C'est dans cette ville qu'elle fit sa première apparition sur scène, à l'âge de quatorze ans . Wolcott’s Rabbit Foot Minstrels, followed a little bit later by the job with Moses Stokes. }); With Netflix adapting August Wilson's lay 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' to a feature film on the legendary Mother of Blues, speculation runs rife about the legitimacy of the events shown in the narrative, and the characters we meet on screen. Smith became a subtler, more agile singer than the raw, more direct Rainey. Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. New York: Vintage, 1998. } The politician and the entertainer had a strong but short-lived bond that helped JFK win the White House. } Ma Rainey, known as the “Mother of the Blues,” isn’t nearly as famous as the blues artists who built on her foundation, from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday. Ma Rainey, known as the “Mother of the Blues,” isn’t nearly as famous as the blues artists who built on her foundation, from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday. if(document.querySelector("#ads")){ Ma Rainey, as she was known, began singing blues songs and contributed greatly to the evolution of the form and to the growth of its popularity. Rainey knew how to work an audience, whether she was sweeping them away with a lowdown song or making them laugh with a bawdy aside. These years also introduced her to Bessie Smith, who was just starting to make a name for herself. By the late ‘20s, her style of blues was no longer considered “current,” and her contracts with her record labels ended. 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