BETWEEN CRUDENESS AND DESPAIR, A FEW FORGOTTEN FEMALE BLUES SINGERS
If, out of these fourteen female singers recorded in the 1920's, some have managed to put food on the table for a while, none became famous or rich, and most remain completely unknown. What can be said about a singer whose entire work fits on a single-sided 78rpm record ? (It makes me think of those antique authors of whom all we have are titles of work). What circumstances led to this recording ? Who decided to do it ? For whom was it intended ? Why wasn't it followed by more recordings ? Hypotheses get lost in places and times themselves forgotten. What remains are these miraculous voices. And us, here, finally able to listen to them, through hardships and deaths - these voices that have gone through these faraway eras that no one alive today has experienced. Let's not forget that most of these profoundly sincere or ferociously ironic blues were created during the dark years of the
Great Depression. However, this selection does not constitute a theme-based anthology. We simply wanted to present a few little-known or forgotten female blues singers whose ambiguous leanings, double-entendres, and uncompromising crudeness had been censored by the propriety of these times ruled by sanctimonious prudishness and despicable segregation. Finally, we have focused on the darker, more personal trend, coarser and grittier than what was being performed in vaudevilles and medicine shows, a radically new form, or maybe an ancient one that had remained hidden from us for decades.