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Miss Rhythm : The Autobiography of Ruth Brown, Rhythm and Blues Legend
Rhythm and Blues Legend Handy Award winner Ruth Brown is a rhythm-and-blues revolutionary--a woman whose early successes earned her instant worldwide fame and launched a career that has influenced such legendary performers as Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Little Richard and Stevie Wonder. This candid autobiography offers the true story of her extraordinary life and career. Photos. Discography.

Blues Legacies and Black Feminism : Gertrude 'Ma' Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday
Angela Davis, author of "Women, Race and Class" suggests that "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday represent a black working-class, feminist ideology and historical consciousness. Davis' illuminating analysis of the songs performed by these artists provides readers with a compelling and transformative understanding of their musical and social contributions and of their relation to both the African-American community and American culture. of photos.

Bessie Smith (Outlines)
In this engrossing olio of biography, autobiography, poetry, and fiction, Kay creates an edgy atmosphere by switching focus by means of narrative jumps in and out of Smith's life and music--a chancy strategy, but it works, facilitating the interaction of Kay's and her subject's stories with minimal disorientation. Smith's reputed lesbianism is made prominent, for this book is part of the Outlines series "on leading gay and lesbian writers and creative artists," yet her music and career are amply and lovingly detailed as well. Indeed, this is primarily a warm, personable, evocative, and pleasing portrait of "the Empress of the Blues" that is also interesting as a study of two strong artistic female characters (Kay herself is the second) and the connections between their seemingly disparate lives. Blessed with a snazzy cover, interpolated poetry by Langston Hughes and Pablo Neruda (among others), and a rather abrupt but nice bibliography, this is quite a package, all told, for many sorts of readers. Copyright´┐Ż 1998, American Library Association. All rights reserved

: Profiles of 37 Early Performers, With an Anthology of Lyrics, 1920-1945
The 37 women profiled here are representative of the many blueswomen who performed in the United States through the end of World War II. Some are well known (e.g., Lucille Bogan and Sippie Wallace), but many are obscure (such as Lil Johnson, Liza Brown and Margaret Whitmire). Biographical profiles are followed by a sampling of the performers' lyrics. 

Blues Big Star Fallin' Mama; Five Women in Black Music
by Hettie Jones

An updated edition of a popular collection of biographies of five of the most important, influential, and respected African-American female singers profiles Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holliday, and Aretha Franklin.




© 2000 Lea A. Gilmore and P.W. Fenton, All Rights Reserved.