Manage episode 326618222 series 2885711
BlackFacts.com presents the black fact of the day for April 26.
Gertrude Ma Rainey was born.
She was a singer who was known as the “mother of the blues” and who was recognized as the first great professional blues vocalist.
She began her career as a performer at a talent show in Columbus, Georgia, when she was approximately 12 years old. As a member of the First African Baptist Church, she began performing in black minstrel shows.
In 1923, Rainey was discovered by Paramount Records producer J. Mayo Williams. She signed a recording contract with that company, and in December she made her first eight recordings in Chicago.
Rainey recorded with Thomas Dorsey and Louis Armstrong, and with the Georgia Jazz Band. She toured until 1935 when she largely retired from performing.
After her mother and sister died, Rainey retired completely from the music business in 1935, returning to her hometown of Columbus, Georgia. There, she reportedly owned two theaters, the Lyric and the Airdome.
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