Born Gertrude Melissa Nix Pridgett, "Ma" Rainey (1886-1939), the Mother of the Blues, joined the black vaudeville troupes touring the South at age 14. Shortly after she married William "Pa" Rainey, she began to work into her "Rabbit Foot Minstrels" plaintive tunes she had first overheard a young Missouri woman sing. Among her most memorable songs are "See See Rider," "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," and "Bo Weavil Blues."
Reference: Postal Bulletin (September 1, 1994).
Scott Catalogue USA: 2859
Copyright United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
Museum ID: 1995.2075.57