Ma Rainey Similar Artists

Bessie Smith - 100% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues Jazz
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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15 April 1894, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, d. 26 September 1937, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. In her childhood, Smith sang on street corners before joining a touring black minstrel show as a dancer. Also in the show was Ma Rainey, and before long the young newcomer was also singing the blues. The older woman encouraged Smith, despite the fact that even at this early stage Read more

Victoria Spivey - 77% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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15 October 1906, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 3 October 1976, New York City, New York, USA. Spivey was recording at the age of 19, and enjoyed early hits with ‘Black Snake Blues’, ‘Dope Head Blues’ and ‘T.B. Blues’, all sung in her unmistakable nasal, acidic tones. She worked as a songwriter for a St. Louis based publishing company in the late 20s, a Read more

Lucille Bogan - 62% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Lucille Anderson, 1 April 1897, Amory, Mississippi, USA, d. 10 August 1948. Bogan was one of the toughest female blues singers of the pre-war era. Although not as sophisticated as Bessie Smith, she first recorded as early as 1923 and never worked in a true jazz band context. Instead, she utilized a string of gifted pianists, including Cow Cow Davenport, Will Ezell and, parti Read more

Ethel Waters - 58% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues Jazz Vocals
Decades Active: 1950s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Ethel Howard, 31 October 1896, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 1 September 1977, Chatsworth, California, USA. One of the most influential of popular singers, Waters’ early career found her working in vaudeville. As a consequence, her repertoire was more widely based and popularly angled than those of many of her contemporaries. It is reputed that she was the first singer Read more

Memphis Minnie - 55% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Lizzie Douglas, 3 June 1897, Algiers, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 August 1973, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. Raised in Walls, Mississippi, Memphis Minnie learned banjo and guitar as a child, and ran away from home at the age of 13 to play music in Memphis; she worked for a time with Ringling Brothers Circus. When in Mississippi, she played guitar with Willie Brown, and in the 20s made a Read more

Little Walter - 47% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Muddy Waters - 47% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues Blues Jazz Music Videos & Concerts Pop / Rock Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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McKinley Morganfield, 4 April 1913, Rolling Fork, Mississippi, USA, d. 30 April 1983, Chicago, Illinois, USA. One of the dominant figures of post-war blues, Muddy Waters was raised in the rural Mississippi town of Clarksdale, in whose juke-joints he came into contact with the legendary Son House and Robert Nighthawk. Having already mastered the rudiments of the harmonica an Read more

Alberta Hunter - 46% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues Blues Jazz
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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1 April 1895, Memphis, Tennessee, USA, d. 17 October 1984, New York City, New York, USA. Growing up in Chicago, Hunter began her remarkable career singing at Dago Frank’s, one of the city’s least salubrious whorehouses. There she sang for the girls, the pimps and the customers, earning both their admiration and good money from tips. Later, she moved on and marginal Read more

Kokomo Arnold - 39% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s
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15 February 1901, Lovejoy’s Station, Georgia, USA. d. 8 November 1968, Chicago, Illinois, USA. ‘Kokomo’ Arnold was a left-handed slide blues guitarist who learned the basics of his style from his cousin, James Wigges. After working in steel mills in Illinois and Pennsylvania he became a dedicated fisherman and moonshiner, who looked upon his musical success as Read more

Blind Lemon Jefferson - 36% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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July 1897, Wortham (Couchman), Texas, USA, d. December 1929, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Jefferson was one of the earliest and most influential rural blues singers to record. He was one of seven children born to Alex Jefferson and Classie Banks (or Bates) and was either blind or partially blind from early childhood. As his handicap precluded his employment as a farm-hand he turn Read more

Big Mama Thornton - 31% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s
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11 December 1926, Montgomery, Alabama, USA, d. 25 July 1984, Los Angeles, California, USA. Willie Mae Thornton was the daughter of a minister and learned drums and harmonica as a child. By the early 40s she was singing and dancing in Sammy Green’s Hot Harlem Revue throughout the southern states. Basing herself in Texas, she made her first records as Big Mama Thornton fo Read more

Blind Blake - 31% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
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Bo Carter - 31% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Armenter Chatmon, 21 March 1893, Bolton, Mississippi, USA, d. 21 September 1964, Memphis, Tennessee, USA. One of Henderson Chatmon’s many musical sons, Bo Carter was a performing, and occasionally a recording, member of the 30s string band the Mississippi Sheiks, alongside Walter Vincson and his brothers Sam Chatmon and Lonnie Chatmon. He played on guitar and violin, bu Read more

Billie Holiday - 27% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues Blues Holiday & Seasonal Jazz Jazz Soundtracks Vocals
Decades Active: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Eleanor(a) Harris, 7 April 1915, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 17 July 1959, New York City, New York, USA. ‘Lady Day’ taught herself to sing during her early teens in Baltimore, Maryland, where she was brought up until moving to New York in 1929. Factual inaccuracies and elements of myth and exaggeration have clouded the picture of her formative years despite Read more

Tampa Red - 27% match to Ma Rainey

Genres: Blues
Decades Active: 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s
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Hudson Woodbridge aka Whittaker, 8 January 1904, Smithville, Georgia, USA, d. 19 March 1981, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Tampa Red was raised in Tampa, Florida, by his grandmother Whittaker’s family, hence his nickname. By the time of his 1928 recording debut for Vocalion Records, he had developed the clear, precise bottleneck blues guitar style that earned him his billing, Read more


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