Ma Rainey

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Early Influence

Inducted in: 1990

Inducted by: Bonnie Raitt

Inducted into Rock Hall Revisited in 2001 (ranked #19 in the Influences - Pre-Rock Era category) .

Essential Songs (?)WikipediaAmazon MP3YouTube
See See Rider (1924)

Ma Rainey @ Wikipedia

Ma Rainey Videos


3 comments so far (post your own)

Ma Rainey should be in the rock 'n' roll hall of fame! Many rock artists today have been and will continue to be inspired by her great contribution, the blues.

Posted by madeleine davis on Thursday, 08.31.06 @ 12:01pm

If Bessie Smith has the title "Empress of the Blues," then Ma Rainey is the unquestioned "Mother of the Blues." While Rainey wasn't the first blues singer to make albums, but by all means she should have been.

In an era when women were unknown in blues, Rainey is the most celebrated of them all. As music historian Chris Albertson has said, "If there was any other woman who sang the blues before Rainey, no one remembers hearing her."

Ma had been singing music for more than 20 years before she recorded her debut album. She was fostered the blues idiom, and did so by linking the spirit of country blues with a classic style.

With the coming of blues records, Ma Rainey became more influential immortalizing such songs as "See See Rider" and "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom." Like the other blues divas, Rainey had a repertoire of pop and minstrel songs as well as blues, but she maintained a rougher, heaver vocal delivery then the other blues singers who followed her.

Rainey's records featured her with jug bands and guitar duos. In addition, her records also featured horns and piano jazz accompaniments.

Since her passing in 1939, Ma Rainey's influence has touched such singers as Ruth Brown, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and Etta James.

Posted by Andrew on Wednesday, 05.8.13 @ 13:37pm

To Tom Lane

Ma Rainey is already an inductee.

Posted by Roy on Monday, 08.11.14 @ 09:42am

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