Memphis Minnie – All The Published Sides 1929 – 1937
Lizzie Douglas, known to the world as Memphis Minnie, had a career that pretty much encapsulated the history of country blues music’s first and arguably greatest period. She was something truly unique, something unlike any of the other legendary “women of the blues”—Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Victoria Spivey, etc. She was country blues in that smaller, rawer, more intimate way—she was a singer, a guitar player, a performer, a poet, a raconteur, a rover, a rough-and-tumble force of nature, a myth, a legend, and by all accounts, someone not to be messed with. In short, she was the real deal.
I picked this collection because it covers some of her greatest years, includes so many of her legendary songs, and because it’s from JSP, whose reverential masters I just adore. There is a later collection as well, also from JSP, that covers her later years, but this is absolutely where you should begin.
Recommended track to start with: Meningitis Blues.
This is THE sound of raw, early, creepy country blues. Just phenomenal … only, and I mean ONLY Memphis Minnie could do this.