Sunday, January 5, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight  was called the “Mother of the Blues,” and was one of the earliest known American blues singers and recording artists. She is recognized as one of the great female blues vocalists. Today's Out Spotlight is Ma Rainey.

Born Gertrude Pridgett in Columbus, Georgia on April 26, 1886, she was one of five children in a family of performers. From age 14, she sang and danced with traveling minstrel shows. At 18, she married singer Will “Pa” Rainey, and took the stage name Ma Rainey. Billed as the Assassinators of the Blues, the couple toured the Southern minstrel circuit. In 1916, Rainey separated from her husband and began touring the nation with her own band.

In 1923, Paramount Records signed Rainey. Over the next five years, she recorded more than 100 songs with some of the great musicians of her era, including Louis Armstrong and Thomas Dorsey, the “father of black gospel music.”


In 1928, Paramount considered Rainey’s classic style of blues no longer fashionable and terminated her contract. Before that, she recorded one of her last songs for label, “Prove It On Me Blues,” which was cited as a watershed for its lyrics about lesbian desire.  Some of Rainey's lyrics have open references to lesbian or bisexual behavior.

 "Prove It on Me", lyrics include: They said I do it, ain't nobody caught me. Sure got to prove it on me. Went out last night with a crowd of my friends. They must've been women, cause I don't like no men. According to some, the lyrics refer to an incident in 1925 in which Rainey was "arrested for taking part in an orgy at [her] home involving women in her chorus." "Prove It on Me" further alludes to presumed lesbian behavior, "It's true I wear a collar and a tie... Talk to the gals just like any old man." Political activist and scholar Angela Y. Davis notes: "'Prove It on Me' is a cultural precursor to the lesbian cultural movement of the 1970s, which began to crystallize around the performance and recording of lesbian-affirming songs.

In 1935 Rainey returned to her hometown, Columbus, Georgia, where she ran two theaters, "The Lyric" and "The Airdrome", until her death from a heart attack in 1939 in Rome, Georgia.

Her song "See See Rider Blues" was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry, and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Big Ma Rainey passed away December 22, 1939

In 1983, Rainey was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame. Seven years later, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2007, the Gertrude “Ma” Rainey House and Blues Museum in Columbus, Georgia, opened to the public.

 “You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life.” 


destiny said...

Aaron Rodgers sure sounds like he's gay, his "roommate" sounds like a hurt boyfriend. I didn't read the links someone posted as I've been following this story already, so I don't know if it was mentioned in those stories or if people here know there is speculation that the ex is upset because he thought Rodgers was going to come out. There was talk last year about 4 NFL players possibly coming out together.

I think it's awful that someone like Rodgers stays in the closet, especially when it would be awfully difficult for Green Bay to dump him, while middle of the road players like Klume, who isn't even gay, are out there battling for gay rights and possibly suffering for it.

And Schock is a typical lying scumbag who votes against gay interests in the name of protecting his closet. He deserves to be outed.

prairiegirl said...

I was thinking about something you said, Destiny, about the bear look on Jake.

Maybe part of it is because Austin is the one who likes his guy all fuzzy wuzzy, lol. Because Jake has had this furry facial to him for how long now and maybe I'm looking in the wrong direction and it's his bubby who is the special need requester.

Hmmmmm....yup, I might have to change my thinking on that one. I will say that in the new pictures, Jake laughing during the Conversation, he looks like a cuddly, silly ol' Pooh bear. And I say that most affectionately.

Special K said...

Happy Birthday Tom! Sorry it was one day late. Hope you are enjoying that warm Sun in Florida.

prairiegirl said...

Happy Birthday, Tom!

I feel just awful missing your birthday. But I hope you had a wonderful day and how could you not in that warm weather?

♪♫ Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday, Florida Tom!!!!!
Happy Birthday to you!!!♫♫♪

Methodical Muser said...

Belated regards on your birthday, Tom. I hope you had a special celebration filled with laughter, brightly hued confetti and something deliciously fizzy and sweet. ;-)

destiny said...

Another belated Happy Birthday Tom. Hope it was an awesome day for you.

Re Austin and the bear look, could be PG.

Special K said...

'I've dated a couple of the wrong guys': Sophia Bush admits regrets about her past choices in romantic partners

Daily Mail

You think maybe because one of them was already taken? By his husband?

soo said...

Wouldn't "romantic partners" insinuate someone who she was romantic with? I.e. not Austin?

Florida Tom said...

Thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes. Have friends coming down tomorrow from home. Going to celebrate then.. Actually not so warm right now. High here of 47 tomorrow but still better than the 18 in NJ. Supposed to warm up nicely by the end of the week though.