Big Maybelle – The Complete Okeh Sessions 1952-1955
Didja know it was Big Maybelle that first recorded “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On?” It’s true, and her version is baddassedness incarnate.
Her 3 years on Okeh make for some of the most beltin’, grindin’, shoutin’, stompin’, wailin’, cryin’ r&b blues ever recorded, and this collection is a track-by-track masterpiece.
Her sound can in many ways be understood as a web spun between many worlds; she possesses some of that old school post-Vaudeville punch of a Ma Rainey, but she’s also got some Chicago in her, and some Torch, and a bit of early pre-Aretha soul as well.
She’s a force of nature, and you GOT to understand.