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The Traditional Delta and Country Blues

Blue Girls, Vol. 1 (1924-1930) by Various Artists

Label: Document Records.
Release Date: March 18, 1997.
Releases: 1997, 2000, 2005.
Recording Time: 68 minutes.
Release Info: Studio Recording.
Recording Date: January 12, 1924 - July 31, 1930.

Styles: Classic Female Blues, Dirty Blues.

Featured Artists: Helen Beasley, Sadie James, Edna Johnson, Julia Johnson, Alura Mack, Coletha Simpson.

Blue Girls, Vol. 1 (1924-1930) contains a selection of material from the obscure female blues singers Edna Johnson, Sadie James, Helen Beasley, Coletha Simpson, Julia Johnson, and Alura Mack. For specialists and academics, there is some interesting music here, but for anyone else, the exacting chronological sequencing, poor fidelity and uneven performances make this collection of marginal interest.
Review by Thom Owens.

The success in the twenties of Ma Rainey, the blues singing Smiths (Mamie, Bessie, Clara and Trixie) and others like Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, Lizzie Miles, Sara Martin and Bertha "Chippie" Hill, spawned a whole host of "want to be" female blues singers. It is no exaggeration to say that thousands of blues were recorded during that period, many by unknowns and, as one contemporary critic observed, "Every phonograph company has a colored girl recording". Which was hardly surprising since most black newspapers of the time were full of with notices detailing the exploits of vaudevillian singers and carrying advertisements from record companies boasting that they alone possessed ,'more colored artists than any other record manufacturer". Of these many young hopefuls, some went on to greater things but the majority didn't managing, at most, to only ever recorded a handful of songs; their main claim to posterity being an entry or two in record company ledgers. Listening to the caliber of the performances presented here adds to the mystery as to why these artists did not develop their recording careers further. Classic, Barrelhouse and Country Blues are all here and these women really know how to sing them.

Credits: Alan Balfour - liner notes; Charles Booker - piano; Tommy Dorsey - composer; Willie Harris - guitar; Sadie James - primary artist, vocals; Richard M. Jones - composer; Alura Mack - performer, primary artist, vocals; Eddie Miller - piano; Johnny Parth - compilation producer, producer; Reichel - composer; Fritz Schulz - composer; Carl Sigman - composer; Coletha Simpson - primary artist, vocals; Francis Wallace - piano; Gerhard Wessely - remastering; James Williams - piano.

Tracks: 1) I`m drifting from you blues - Edna Johnson; 2) A woman gets tired of one man all the time - Edna Johnson; 3) Mamma, fold your hands - Sadie James; 4) What makes a bow-legged woman crazy? - Sadie James; 5) Tia Juana blues - Helen Beasley; 6) Rambling mind blues - Helen Beasley; 7) Riverside blues - Coletha Simpson; 8) Black man blues - Coletha Simpson; 9) Down south blues - Coletha Simpson; 10) Lonesome lonesome blues - Coletha Simpson; 11) Hard headed daddy - Julia Johnson; 12) Tickling blues - Julia Johnson; 13) My kitchen man - Alura Mack; 14) West end blues - Alura Mack; 15) Wicked daddy blues - Alura Mack; 16) Loose like that - Alura Mack; 17) Beef blood blues - Alura Mack; 18) Cotton belt blues - Alura Mack; 19) I ain`t puttin` out nothin` blues - Alura Mack; 20) The long lost blues - Alura Mack; 21) Everybody`s man is mine - Alura Mack; 22) Monkey blues - Alura Mack; 23) It worries me - Alura Mack; 24) 82 years blues - Alura Mack.