|Tags:||blues female vocalists classic blues under 2000 listeners legend 20s 1920s blues woman|
|Decades:||1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s|
29 November 1894, Macon, Georgia, USA, d. 1 March 1970, New York City, New York, USA. Hegamin was recorded from 1920 onwards, in the wake of Mamie Smiths breakthrough for black singers. Her background was in vaudeville, which required versatility and the ability to respond to popular taste. Her repertoire on record is more blues-inflected black pop than pure blues, but the songs often have great charm, and Hegamins delivery, forceful but melodious and flexible with precise, clear diction, is very appealing. She stopped recording in 1926, excluding one 1932 record, but continued stage and club work (she gained stardom with the touring company of Shuffle Along in the role played on Broadway by Florence Mills) until 1934, when she became a nurse. Coaxed out of retirement, she made some fine recordings in 1961 and 1962 before returning to the church work that occupied her final years.