All These Blues Songs

“I learned the blues off of records. My mother used to buy Mamie Smith, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, all these blues songs, because she liked to sing. And I would sing with her. And we had one of these old Graphonolas that you wind up. So, if we were cleaning house, and we were in the bedroom, we’d bring it with us there. If we were outside washing the clothes, we’d bring it there. So I heard these records and I’d sing along with mamma — that’s how I learned to sing the blues.”

Blue Lu Barker

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