Don’t get fooled by a glamorous vintage photo of a prim and proper Memphis Minnie. The Queen of The Blues was known to pack more than a powerful set of pipes.
Sure, Clifford Gibson sang the blues. But the real power of his music was evident when he let his incredibly long fingers did the talking.
Long before Tears for Fears offered that advice in the ’80s or flower-power acts gave it in the ’60s, McClintock sang it with the hope it might bear fruit.
The popular ‘artistic aide’ helped plenty of Paramount artists loosen up for sessions, including Harum Scarum, for its raucus recording of ‘Alabama Scratch.’
Plenty of blues artists back in the 1930s used an alias when recording. Unlike those trying to make more money or outrun the law, Blind Joe Taggart had another motive to record ‘14th Street Blues’ as Blind Percy.
If not for the repeal of Prohibition, America might never have discovered the soulful voice, risque lyrics and killer slide guitar of Kokomo Arnold.
This forefather of the urban blues movement racked up a lot of records, but that didn’t stop his life from turning out like a blues song: tragic and over too soon.
Sure, Sophie Tucker tried to parlay a song title into a nickname, but if you ask most blues fans, Mother Of The Blues Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey wins the title.
The discovery of a Blind Blake record is proof that just because a record is missing doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
‘She put carbolic in my coffee, turpentine in my tea, Strychnine in my biscuits, Lord but she didn’t hurt me,’ the bluesman sings in ‘Big Chief Blues.’ And all of that doesn’t even get into Lewis’ real life.