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Ma Rainey

Subject: History

(1886–1939), blues singer, comedienne, songwriter, and theater owner. Born Gertrude Pridgett on 26 April 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, Ma Rainey began performing at the age of ...

Rainey, Ma

Rainey, Ma (1886–1939)   Reference library

The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Literature
Length:
409 words

...Rainey's style as a rich contralto filled with slurs and moans and “lisping diction” ( Ma Rainey , 1959 ). Throughout her career Rainey appealed most to southern audiences—both black and white. She returned south to Columbus in 1935 , when she retired from active performing. At that time, Rainey purchased and operated the Lyric and Airdome theaters in Rome, Georgia. Rainey's power as a performer and her success as a businesswoman have inspired African American writers. Sterling A. Brown 's poem “Ma Rainey” is a poetic portrayal of Rainey's impact...

Rainey, Ma

Rainey, Ma (26 April 1886)   Reference library

Paul Oliver

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
324 words

...Columbus, where she was active in the Baptist Church. Bibliography D. Stewart-Baxter : Ma Rainey and the Classic Blues Singers (New York and London, 1970) S. Harris : Blues Who's Who: a Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers (New Rochelle, NY, 1979/ R ) S.R. Lieb : Mother of the Blues: a Study of Ma Rainey (Amherst, MA, 1981) D.D. Harrison : Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s (New Brunswick, NJ, 1988) A.Y. Davis : Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: “MaRainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (New York, 1998) Paul Oliver...

Rainey, Ma

Rainey, Ma (b. 26 April 1886)   Reference library

Encyclopedia of African American History 1896 to the Present

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
743 words

... William “Pa” Rainey , after which she styled herself as Ma Rainey. The two toured the South with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, singing blues and popular songs as Rainey and Rainey, Assassinators of the Blues. Ma and Pa Rainey divorced in 1916 . Subsequently, Ma Rainey was openly bisexual. A solo singer after her divorce, Rainey signed with Paramount Records in 1923 . From 1923 to 1928 she recorded about a hundred blues songs with Paramount, including the classics “C.C. Rider” (or “See See Rider”) and “Bo Weavil Blues.” When Ma Rainey sang “Traveling...

Rainey, Ma (Gertrude Pridgett)

Rainey, Ma (Gertrude Pridgett) (26 April 1886)   Reference library

Black Women in America (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2005
Subject:
History, Regional and National History
Length:
1,294 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Black Feminism: Gertrude “MaRainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday . New York: Vintage, 1998. Evans, David . Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues . New York: DaCapo Press, 1982. Fulbright, Thomas . Ma Rainey and I. Jazz Journal 9 , March 1956. Harrison, Daphne Duval . Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s . New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1988. Lieb, Sandra . Mother of the Blues: A Study of Ma Rainey . Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1981. Pridgett, Thomas . The Life of Ma Rainey. Jazz Information 2 , 6...

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
188 words

... Rainey's Black Bottom ( 1984 ) , a play by August Wilson . [ Cort Theatre , 275 perf.; NYDCC Award.] Ma Rainey ( Theresa Merritt ), an African‐American blues singer, is difficult at the best of times, and the 1920s are not the best of times, particularly for blacks in Chicago. When she arrives for a recording session, she has had a run‐in with the police after an automobile accident, the producer is demanding she use a new arrangement by the young trumpet player Levee ( Charles S. Dutton ), and the equipment either is not functioning or has been sabotaged....

Rainey Ma

Rainey Ma   Reference library

The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Music
Length:
355 words

...woman, Rainey influenced just about every other singer of the blues, notably Bessie Smith whom she encouraged during her formative years. Although Rainey continued working into the early 30s her career at this time was overshadowed by changes in public taste. She retired in 1935 and died in 1939. In the late 80s a musical show, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom , was a success on Broadway and in London. COMPILATIONS Ma Rainey, Vol. 1 1923, 1924 recordings (Riverside 1953) ٭ ٭ ٭ Ma Rainey, Vol. 2 1924, 1925 recordings (Riverside 1953) ٭ ٭ ٭ Ma Rainey, Vol. 3 ...

Rainey, Ma

Rainey, Ma   Quick reference

New Oxford American Dictionary (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
42 words
Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
History
(1886–1939), blues singer, comedienne, songwriter, and theater owner.Born Gertrude Pridgett on 26 April 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, Ma Rainey began performing at the age of fourteen at the Springer ...
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom  

Reference type:
Overview Page
(1984),a play by August Wilson. [Cort Theatre, 275 perf.; NYDCC Award.] Ma Rainey (Theresa Merritt), an African‐American blues singer, is difficult at the best of times, and the 1920s ...
Blues Boy Willie

Blues Boy Willie  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. William D. McFalls, 28 November 1946, Memphis, Texas, USA. Reputedly, McFalls’ father played in the tent show band that accompanied blues legend Ma Rainey. Singing and playing blues harmonica ...
Thomas A. Dorsey

Thomas A. Dorsey  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 1 July 1899, Villa Rica, Georgia, USA, d. 23 January 1993, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Often known as the founder of gospel music. Born into a religious family, Dorsey nevertheless ...
Blind Blake

Blind Blake  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. Arthur Blake (or possibly Phelps), c.1890s, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, d. c.1933. One of the very finest of pre-war blues guitarists, Blind Blake is nevertheless a very obscure figure. Almost ...
Volume 2: 1923-24 (Louis Armstrong album)

Volume 2: 1923-24 (Louis Armstrong album)  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Comprised of recordings from King Oliver’s Jazz Band, Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, Ma Rainey and her Georgia Jazz Band and one track from Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, Volume 2 ...
Lovie Austin

Lovie Austin  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. Cora Calhoun, 19 September 1887, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, d. 10 July 1972. A formally trained pianist and arranger, Austin worked in vaudeville for a number of years. She also ...
Clarence 'Pine Top' Smith

Clarence 'Pine Top' Smith  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 11 January 1904, Troy, Alabama, USA, d. 15 March 1929, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Often considered to be the founder of the boogie-woogie style of piano playing, ‘Pine Top’ Smith ...
Valerie Wellington

Valerie Wellington  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. Valerie Eileen Hall, 14 November 1959, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 2 January 1993, Maywood, Illinois, USA. Wellington trained as an opera singer at Chicago’s American Conservatory of Music for ...
Papa Charlie Jackson

Papa Charlie Jackson  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. c.1885, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, d. 1938, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Papa Charlie Jackson belonged to the first generation of rural black singers to record. He was a banjo player ...
Lloyd Price

Lloyd Price  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 9 March 1933, Kenner, Louisiana, USA. Price, who launched his career in the early 50s performing rocking R&B, New Orleans-style, was - like his Crescent City compatriot Fats Domino ...
Memphis Minnie

Memphis Minnie  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. Lizzie Douglas, 3 June 1897, Algiers, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 August 1973, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Raised in Walls, Mississippi, Memphis Minnie learned banjo and guitar as a child, and ...
Edith Wilson

Edith Wilson  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 6 September 1896, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, d. March 1981. Edith Wilson was a blues-singing stage star whose career credits include a long list of revues beginning with Put And ...

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