Sippin’ on Blues: The Story of Sippie Wallace

Blues, a genre permeated with male authority, needed a bit of shaking up and the women of blues knew just how to do it. Female artists such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sippie Wallace, Bessie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith, and countless others – known or barely known, gave Blues music a fearless twist and shook up the genre in the most exciting of ways. 

Sippie embraced music at an early age as she performed and played the piano in church. She performed a great deal with her younger brother, Hersal Thomas, and soon after her husband, Matt Wallace, joined the tow in writing and performing music. Sippie, Hersal, Matt, and a few others who just so happen to be male distributed around 31 songs together. The men performed on a great majority of Sippie’s songs. Because blues is considered to be a male dominated genre, Sippie’s musical accompaniment by the men in her life was surely not uncommon. One of Sippie’s greatest hits was ‘Mighty Tight Woman’ , a song that discusses a strong, confident woman who seeks the attention of men and who knows she can get them without having to try. Male influence surrounded Wallace’s career but her voice and unique style gave her an edge against some of the best male blues artists at the time.



Much of blues music is a result of the artists’ pain, suffering, and longing. Pain and suffering were no strangers to Sippie as her brother (Hersal) was killed off by food poisoning , her loving husband was soon after taken from this earth, and not too long after, her other brother George was struck by an automobile and killed. These consecutive tragedies affected Wallace greatly and for a quite significant period she stepped away from recording and began to play the organ as her religion became her safety.


Following the Great Depression and the revival of Blues music as a whole, Sippie’s career was resurrected as well. With the tragic losses that had possessed her life, Sippie’s music reflected directly the pain that had struck her life. Although these losses were extremely harsh and detrimental to Sippie, the music that she produced as a result provided the Blues genre many hits. 


When thinking of Blues artists, more specifically female Blues artists, Sippie Wallace’s name is not immediately  discussed but the impact that she had behind the scenes of Blues music surely remains to this day. Although she only recorded 4 albums during her life, Sippie became a pioneer in the Blues industry. 

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.