Kitty Brown

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Kitty Brown
Also known as Bessie Williams, Jane White, Dixie Gray, Rosa Green, Mazie Leroy
Origin United States
Genres Classic female blues
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1920s-1930s
Labels Okeh, Oriole, various

Kitty Brown was an American classic female blues singer. She sometimes used the pseudonyms of Bessie Williams (although she was not alone in using this name), Jane White, Dixie Gray, Rosa Green and Mazie Leroy.[1] Brown was active as a recording artist from 1923 to the mid-1930s. Her best known tracks were "I Wanna Jazz Some More" and "It's De-Lovely". Little is known of her life outside of her music.

Career[edit]

The bulk of Brown's recording work occurred in 1923 and 1924, although in the 1930s she waxed one track, with Les Brown's Band of Renown. It was a working of Cole Porter's song, "It's De-Lovely".[1]

The title of her 1924 track, "I Wanna Jazz Some More", is misleading. The word 'jazz' was used as a euphemism for bodily fluid, and not as a reference to the musical art form. In the manner of the time, several of Brown's songs used sexual innuendo, but not all her tracks were similarly slanted. It is also probable that contractual agreements with record labels saw her record elsewhere under a number of assumed names, some of which are difficult to verify.[1]

Her debut session produced the songs "Evil Blues" and "Mean Eyes (Too Late Blues)". The former track had the notation accompanied by Rickett Stars, almost certainly another stage name. Her main musical partner was the songwriter LeRoy Morton, who also acted as manager for Clara Smith. On the Okeh label, Brown and Morton recorded "He's Never Gonna Throw Me Down" and "Keep on Going". One of her later recording pseudonyms, Mazie Leroy, might have connections to the association with him.[1] As was becoming more common then, much of Brown's material came via the music publishing arm of her record label. A later session saw her record "Family Skeleton Blues", one of her more beguiling sides.[1] Amongst her accompanists was James "Bubber" Miley.[2]

The amount of recording she undertook under various other names, probably exceeds output under her own.[1] Verification is made more difficult, as the name of Bessie Williams was used by several singers.[3] However, Brown has been certified as the singer on several songs released on the Domino label, despite them being billed as Williams.[1]

The bulk of her known work was included on the compilation album, Female Blues Singers, Vol. 3: B/C (1923-1928) made available in 1997 by Document Records.[4] Her sides included the songs, "Evil Blues", "Mean Eyes (Too Late Blues)", "Deceitful Blues", "I Don't Let No One Man Worry Me", "He's Never Gonna Throw Me Down", "Keep on Going", "Family Skeleton Blues", "I Wanna Jazz Some More", "Keep On Going" and "One Of These Days".[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Biography by Eugene Chadbourne". Allmusic.com. Retrieved September 30, 2011. 
  2. ^ Lawrence, A. H. (2001). Duke Ellington and His World (1st ed.). London: Roudedge. p. 28. ISBN 0-415-93012-X. 
  3. ^ Laird, Ross (1996). Moanin' Low: a discography of female popular vocal recordings, 1920-1933 (1st ed.). Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 583. ISBN 0-313-29241-8. 
  4. ^ "Allmusic ((( Female Blues Singers, Vol. 3: B/C (1923-1928) > Credits )))". 
  5. ^ Laird, Ross (1996). Moanin' Low: a discography of female popular vocal recordings, 1920-1933 (1st ed.). Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 56/7. ISBN 0-313-29241-8. 

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