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Ma Rainey


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Birth Name: Gertrude Pridgett
Born: 1886/04/26
Birth Place: Columbus, Georgia, US
Died: 1939/12/22
Years Active: 1900-1933
Genres: Blues

Ma Rainey was born on April 26, 1882, or 1886, as Gertrude Pridgett in Columbus Georgia. There is some debate over the actual year of her birth. Rainey is considered as one of earliest known professional blues singers, and was known for her powerful and moving voice. Rainey first began performing as a child in her local church and then moved on to 'show tents' by the time she was twelve years old. Rainey was referred to, and billed as “The Mother of the Blues.” She began recording under the name 'Ma Rainey' in 1904. Rainey began her professional music career as part of F.S. Wolcott’s Rabbit Foot Minstrels, but went on to form her own group with her husband, whom she met and married at... Continue Bio >>


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