Female Blues Singers – Various Artists – Complete Recorded Works – Vol 1 A/B (1924-1932)
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The singers on this first volume demonstrate the extremes of the stylistic range of the female blues singers of this era from the southern barrelhouse style of Ora Alexander and the down-home style of Baby Bonnie to the vaudeville style of Louise Anderson and Mildred Austin. Accompanists include Theodore “Wingy” Carpenter, Lovell Bolan, Milton Davage and Corky Williams. The female blues singers who made records in the 1920s and early 1930 are often simplistically characterized as “vaudeville” artists. This series, of fourteen volumes, concentrates on singers who made only a handful of recordings and who mostly remain biographically obscure, reveals the true diversity of the female artists of this era. While the vaudeville theatres and travelling tent shows were probably the main venues for most of them, some sang in cabarets and others in low-down barrelhouses.
Some were vaudeville veterans whose careers stretched back to the teens or even earlier, while others were young new arrivals on the stage. Yet others sound as though they had just emerged from a rough saloon and house party environment. Some created their own excellent song material, while others were merely the vehicles for ambitious song-writers who often also served as their accompanists. Some are obscure and many leave us wishing they had been more extensively recorded. Whatever the case, they fill out the picture of the blues of this era and present plenty of fine musical moments and material of great interest.