The calming and nostalgic sounds of the blues origins do in fact have quite a sad and dark beginning. The blues derive from the heart of Africa through the voices of villagers in the form of tribal chanting. Soon after being transported through shackle and chains to the sunny and palm tree riddled Caribbean, dominating the American South. The catchy rhythms and melodies of the plantation workers started to influence the local white churches gospel and folk singers. It soon spread far and wide into the North America’s, making blues the ruler of the 1920’s and further decades on. In this article I am going show you the top 6 female blues/jazz/swing musicians of that time.
- Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday whom originally named Eleonora Fagan had a career spanning of 26 years. Singing many popular songs that you would recognise even 70 years later. She captivated her audience with her conscious elegant demeanour, her style and her romanticised sedated voice.
2. Ethel Waters
This catchy upbeat melody sung by Ethel Waters started her career singing blues and then went on to sing jazz, swing and even perform at Broadway. She joined the broadway show Black Swan in 1920’s, in which her contract concluded to have one of the highest paid black recording artist at that time.
3. Alberta Hunter
Alberta Hunter, Oh a husky voice she did have. She had a lifelong career spanning over 50 years of being in the industry. Hunter had toured extensively during World War 2 and the Korean War for the United States Services, lifting up the spirits of the soldiers with the sound of captivating voice.
4. Big Mumma Thornton
The song Hound Dog was made popular by Elvis Presley, but in fact that was not his song. The song was originally written and sung by the magnificent woman Big Mumma Thornton, and for years she lacked the recognition for it.
5. Anita O’Day
American Jazz singer Anita O’Day first got discovered singing in nightclubs, later she was invited to join a band in which she went on to make quite the name for herself. I don’t know about you, but listening back to this music just makes me want to jump into a time machine and go back in time. Sit at a little round table, sip on a dry martini and jig my foot the exceptional vocals of the women of this time.
6. Ella Fitzgerald
The Queen of Jazz dominated the scene for more than half a century in the United States. Ella sung ‘dream a little dream of me’ alongside Louis Armstrong, some might say this song was sung by the King and Queen of Jazz.
I have created a playlist here “Sippin’ a little scotch” if you fancy tickling your nostalgic senses.