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Tag Archives: Women

Photo: Carl Van Vechten

Bessie Smith : musicians

The first major blues and jazz singer on record and one of the most powerful of all time, Bessie Smith rightly earned the title of “The Empress of the Blues.” Even on her first records in 1923, her... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: DC Dept. of Tourism

Bernice Johnson Reagon : musicians

Though perhaps most widely known as the founder and guiding force of the Washington, D.C.-based women’s group Sweet Honey in the Rock, Bernice Johnson Reagon is also a noted political activist, a Distinguished Professor at Washington’s American University and... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: Axel Kustner

Flora Molton : musicians

b. 1908, Virginia, USA, d. 31 May 1990, Washington DC, USA. Molton began preaching at the age of 17, not taking up guitar until 1943, when she moved to Washington DC. Virtually blind, she supported herself by playing in... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: Project Gutenberg

Fanny Crosby : musicians

Frances Jane Crosby (March 24, 1820 – February 12, 1915), usually known as Fanny Crosby in the United States and by her married name, Frances van Alstyne, in the United Kingdom, was an American Methodist rescue mission worker, poet,... more.

February 21, 2013

Herwin Recordings

Arizona Dranes : musicians

“Juanita” Arizona Dranes was born in Dallas, Texas around 1905. Born blind, Dranes is believed to have been of Mexican and African-American heritage, and was raised in the Church of God in Christ in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Dranes’... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Big Mama Thornton : musicians

Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton only notched one national hit in her lifetime, but it was a true monster. “Hound Dog” held down the top slot on Billboard’s R&B charts for seven long weeks in 1953. Alas, Elvis Presley’s... more.

February 21, 2013

Sony Music

Valerie Capers : musicians

Although her 1995 Columbia recording Come on Home was released in a Legendary Pioneers of Jazz series, Valerie Capers is much too obscure and under-recorded to be a legend, and not old enough to be a pioneer. She picked... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: UNC

Jerma Jackson : musicians

Jerma A. Jackson’s main research interest is twentieth century social and cultural history, with a special interest on African American life, religion, music and women’s history. In her first book Jackson engaged music to examine black life and culture, tracing... more.

February 21, 2013

Photo: JSU

Tonea Stewart : musicians

Dr. Tonea Stewart (born February 3, 1947) is an United States actress and university professor best known for her role as Aunt Etta on the television series In the Heat of the Night. Stewart was born in Greenwood, Mississippi,... more.

February 21, 2013

Blue Bossa – Valerie Capers : music

January 11, 2013

Blood Count – Valerie Capers : music

January 11, 2013

Arrival – Valerie Capers : music

January 11, 2013

molton_dc_sidewalk_photo by Axel Kustner

The Women of Blind Gospel : post

When we think of the tradition of itinerant blind black musicians, names like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Willie McTell or Blind Willie Johnson tend to come up quickly. Blind women in that tradition — harder to name. But there were... more.

February 23, 2012