Blues Women


Classic Blues music was an early form of blues music, popular in the 1920s. An amalgam of traditional folk blues and urban theater music, the style is also known as vaudeville blues. Classic blues were performed by female singers accompanied by pianists or small jazz ensembles and were the first blues to be recorded.

Women in Blues

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920’s-30’s. She was the highest paid African American women singer and she was named the Empress of the Blues. She was a revolutionary singer who put the struggles of African Americans into music.

Mamie Smith

Mamie Smith was an American  singer, dancer, pianist, and actress. She was a vaudeville singer who was the first African American artist to make vocal blues recordings. 

Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey was an American blues singer and influential early blues recording artist. Dubbed the “Mother of the Blues”


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