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1396Re: [RedHotJazz] Re: Martha Copeland

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  • Robert Smith
    Sep 15, 2005
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      According to the information that I have Mamie Smith was born in 1890, making her 22 years younger than census-Martha. The oldest blues singer I can find was Ma Rainey, born 1886, and who made her debut at the Springer Theatre in 1900 (aged 14!) in her town of birth - Columbus, Georgia. She then toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. At this time census-Martha would be 32+, so could have been active in similar revue groups. Assuming that Ma Rainey didn't invent her own style, then it could have been singers of Martha's calibre who were Ma's inspiration.
      It would appear that singer-Martha made her last record: "I Ain't Your Hen, Mister Fly-Rooster" in 1928. The census-Martha would have been 60, no great age for a blues singer (the Norwegian singer Nora Brockstedt has just issued her first jazz album at 82 years of age).
      I can find no biographical information on Martha Copeland, so her birthdate, place of birth, and singing career outside Columbia's Camden, N.J. studios are unknown to me.
      Of the census-Marthas I found over 100, with some connection to Georgia, although date-of-birth and/or date-of-death ruled out quite a large number of these.

      Cheers

      Bob Smith


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