Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - M A RAINEYS...

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MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM Who Was Ma Rainey?
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Ma was born April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Georgia as Gertrude Pridgett . Her first performance was at a talent show when she was anywhere from 12-14 years old. Around 1902, she was introduced to Blues music in Missouri, and began incorporating it into her music.
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She met William “Pa” Rainey and they were married February 2, 1904 – when she was 18. When she began performing with William, she took the stage name “Ma” . From that point on, she was known as “Ma” Rainey. Together, they performed in Black Minstrel Shows and toured with F.S. Wolcott’s Rabbit Foot Minstrels. While on tour in New Orleans, she met musicians including Joe “King” Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Pops Foster. Around this time, she also met Bessie Smith. There was a rumor going around that Ma kidnapped Bessie and forced her to perform in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. Bessie’s sister-in-law disputes this.
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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom - M A RAINEYS...

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