Blues+and+Gender+Guest+Lecture

Blues and Gender Guest Lecture

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Unformatted text preview: Later joined “Ma” Rainey, performing in vaudeville and minstrel shows. •  Throughout the 1920s she acJvely toured and recorded for Columbia records. Discussion •  What is Bessie Smith singing about in this song? •  How does this song challenge gender roles? •  What stylisJc elements in her singing does she use to convey her message? Safety Mama Let me tell you how and why what no- good man done to me He called me precy, young and wild, a[er that he let me be He'd taken advantage of my youth, and that you understand So, wait a while, I’ll show you, chile, just how to treat a no- good man Make him stay at home, wash and iron, tell all the neighbors he done lost his mind Give your house rent shake on Saturday night Monday morning you'll hold collectors good and Jght You see a man you really like Let him bite that monkey, brother, in his back When his cruel heart turn, his love breaks down hold him where you got him make him stay in town, 'cause I'm a safety woman, lookin' for a safety man Discussion •  What is Bessie Smith singing about in this song? •  How does this song challenge gender roles? •  What stylisJc elements in her singing does she use to convey her message? Gladys Bentley 1907- 1960 •  Bentley le[ her home in Philadelphia for New York at the age of 16. •  Bentley, always open about her sexuality, began singing and playing piano at a number of gay speakeasies in Harlem. •  She was known for wearing a tuxedo and top hat on stage, along with her raunchy lyrics. •  In an interview for Ebony Magazine, Bentley stated, “It seems I was born different. At least, I always thought so…From the Jme I can remember anything, even as I was toddling, I never wanted a man to touch me…Soon I began to feel more confortable in boys clothes than in dresses”. •  Recorded for both OKeh and Excelsior records •  Later on, in 1950, Bentley wrote an arJcle for Ebony magazine staJng that she had been cured of her “afflicJon” of lesbianism through hormone treatments. •  Bentley’s announcement came on the heels of pressures from...
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This document was uploaded on 03/08/2014 for the course MUSIC 26AC at University of California, Berkeley.

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