News / Arts & Entertainment

Female Blues Singers Shine in Memphis

Women Blues Singers Shine in Memphisi
X
February 04, 2014 5:04 PM
When the first blues recordings appeared in the early 1920s, women singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the stars. But over the years since then, men have come to dominate the blues scene. Women continue to sing the blues, though, and their talents were on display in Memphis, Tennessee recently at an event held outside the International Blues Challenge. VOA's Greg Flakus was there and has this report.
Greg Flakus
When the first blues recordings appeared in the early 1920s, women singers like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the stars. But over the years since then, men have come to dominate the blues scene.  Women continue to sing the blues, though, and their talents were on display in Memphis, Tennessee recently at an event held outside the International Blues Challenge.

She sounds like she came right out of the Mississippi Delta, but singer Eleanor Tsaig and the Ori Naftaly band are from Israel, where she says blues music is starting to gain an audience.

"The Jewish people have a lot to sing the blues about," Tsaig said.

She and the band members now live in Memphis and they came to the Center for Southern Folklore to perform at The Women in Blues Showcase.

"We are all women, we are all sisters and it's the blues, you know, so it is just great, so much fun," Tsaig said.

"This is their chance not to just celebrate blues, but the feminine aspect of blues… these are the young performers who have young ideas, young dreams, young goals," said Judy Peiser, director of the Center for Southern Folklore.

But event organizer Michele Seidman says she and co-organizer Terri Robbins want to counter the resistance they say exists to booking women in clubs and festivals.

"We often have to fight harder to get the same respect as the guys, so we have to bring it harder, we bring in every bit of fire, passion and soul that we have go," she said.

Robbins says women have a lot to offer to blues music.

“They bring guts, deep-roots soul, passion, I think,” she said.

An example of that is Lady Rose, who came to the showcase from the eastern U.S. state of Maryland.

"I put my heart and soul into what I am doing and I think it shows in what I sing and audiences really appreciate that," she said.

She says her biggest reward comes from fans who tell her she made them cry.

"It really makes you feel good that you can touch someone," she said.

Lady Rose says it is important for young women to have successful female blues performers to emulate -- as they develop their own styles and reach down deep to express their own feelings.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

The Hamilton Live

Paquito D'Rivera, who has won 12 Grammys, is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer. D'Rivera's latest project, “Jazz Meets the Classics,” was released this month. He joins us on the latest edition of "The Hamilton Live."