Edith Wilson

Decades: 1990s 2000s


6 September 1896, Louisville, Kentucky, USA, d. March 1981. Edith Wilson was a blues-singing stage star whose career credits include a long list of revues beginning with Put And Take in 1921. In the same year she made her first records in the company of Johnny Dunn And His Original Jazz Hounds. Never just a blues singer, she continued to work after the initial interest in the so-called classic blues had declined, appearing on stage and films, both as a singer and as an actress. She later appeared advertising cookies in the assumed role of ‘Aunt Jemima’. She never really retired and took advantage of the increased interest in blues during the 60s to embark on a second career that saw her recording an album for the Delmark label in 1970 and performing at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980. As a blues singer, what she lacked of the rawness and power associated with performers such as Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey, she made up for in urbanity and wit.

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