Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey

Mother of the Blues.

Founded

April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia

Full Name

Gertrude Pridgett

Date of Birth

April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia

Still Alive

Date of Death

December 22, 1939 in Columbus, Georgia

Influenced By

Spirituals, Minstrel Shows

Ma Rainey with the Wild Cats Jazz Band. The band's founder, Tommy Dorsey, is on piano.
Ma Rainey with the Wild Cats Jazz Band. The band's founder, Tommy Dorsey, is on piano.

About The artist

"In an era when women were the marquee names in blues, Rainey was once the most celebrated of all; the 'Mother of the Blues' had been singing the music for more than 20 years before she made her recording debut on Paramount in 1923. With the advent of blues records, she became even more influential, immortalizing such songs as 'See See Rider,' 'Bo-Weavil Blues,' and 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.'"

Jim O'Neal, Allmusic.com

Did you know...

Ma Rainey was a mentor to and later a rival of Bessie Smith.

Other Artists from this genre

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

The Empress of the Blues.

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Wrote and recorded "Black Snake Moan."

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson

The King of the Delta Blues.

Genres from this era

Blues

Blues

Born in the Mississippi Delta.

Jazz

Jazz

Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.

Swing

Swing

The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.

Country & Folk

Country & Folk

Black musical tradition is a part of its core.

Gospel

Gospel

The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.