Edmonia Henderson

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Edmonia Henderson
Birth nameJennie Katherine Edmonia Henderson[1] or
Edmonia Kath Landen[2]
Also known asCatherine Henderson[3]
The Melodious Blues Singer[4]
Bornc. 1898 or 1900
Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States (possible)
Died(1947-02-17)February 17, 1947 (age about 47–49)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
GenresClassic female blues
Occupation(s)Singer (contralto),[5] evangelist
Years active1920s
LabelsVocalion, Okeh, Paramount

Edmonia Henderson (c. 1898 or 1900 – February 17, 1947)[2][3] was an African-American classic female blues singer.[6] She was active as a recording artist in the mid-1920s, recording at least 14 songs between 1924 and 1926.[7] She later became an evangelist.[1]

At various times, Henderson sang accompanied by Jelly Roll Morton, Tommy Ladnier, Lovie Austin, Eddie Heywood, and Johnny Dodds.[1]


Some sources state that she was born Jennie Katherine Edmonia Henderson, in Jefferson County, Kentucky (present-day Louisville), around 1900.[1][8] However, the researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc state that she was born Edmonia Kath Landen in Tennessee in 1898.[2]

Henderson appeared in vaudeville, both as a solo artist and as part of Joe Clark's Revue, performing on the Theater Owners Booking Association circuit, including appearances in Baltimore, Chicago, and Nashville.[5][9] In 1925, she performed in Radio Girls, another vaudeville revue, which included Bessie Williams, Mamie Jefferson, and Baby Badge.[10]

Henderson's first recording was made in 1924. She recorded "Dead Man Blues" in 1926, with accompaniment by the writer of the song, Jelly Roll Morton, on piano.[11] In 1927, a record of hers was released in the United Kingdom by the British record label Oriole, as part of its Race Series, under licence from Vocalion. The series also included recordings by Rosa Henderson and Viola McCoy.[12]

By 1928, she was teaching and giving gospel concerts at the Griffith Conservatory of Music in Louisville. In 1932, she married and became the Reverend Edmonia Buckner.[1][2]

Her work has appeared on various compilation albums, including The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records 1917–1927, Volume 1 (2013).[13]

She is unrelated to Fletcher, Horace, Katherine, or Rosa Henderson.

Henderson died on February 17, 1947, in Louisville[2] and was interred in Louisville Cemetery.[8]

Selected discography[edit]

Year A-side
1924 "Jelly Roll Blues"[14]
(Jelly Roll Morton)
"Lazy Daddy Blues"[14]
(Jay Guy Suddoth)
Accompanied by Tommy Ladnier, Lovie Austin, Johnny Dodds[15]
1924 "Black Man Blues"[16]
(Lovie Austin)
"Worried 'Bout Him Blues"[16]
(Robert Warfield)
1924 "Brown Skin Man"[16]
(Boots Hope)
"Traveling Blues"[16]
(Pearl White)
1924 "Hateful Blues"[16]
(Perry Bradford, E. Johnson)
"Mama Don't Want Sweet Man Anymore"[16]
(Alex Blythe)
1925 "Four-Thirty Blues"[16]
(Edmonina Henderson)
"Sweet De Papa Blues"[16]
(Edmonina Henderson)
As Catherine Henderson, accompanied by Eddie Heywood
1926 "Nobody Else Will Do"[16]
(Lovie Austin)
"Who's Gonna Do Your Lovin' (When Your Good Man's Gone Away)"[16]
(Lovie Austin)
1926 "Georgia Grind"[16]
(Spencer Williams)
"Dead Man Blues"[16]
(Jelly Roll Morton)
Recorded in Chicago, July 21, 1926[17]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Henderson, Edmonia". Nkaa.uky.edu. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  2. ^ a b c d e Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 522. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  3. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club : 1950s and earlier". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  4. ^ Oliver, Paul (1969). The Story of the Blues. Barrie & Jenkins, London. ISBN 3-85445-092-3.
  5. ^ a b "Edmonia Henderson Charms with Voice and Smile". Baltimore Afro-American. May 30, 1925. p. 4. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  6. ^ Stewart-Baxter, Derrick (1970). Ma Rainey and the Classic Blues Singers. London: Studio Vista. p. 91. OCLC 250212516.
  7. ^ "Big Road Blues: Edmonia Henderson". Sundayblues.org. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  8. ^ a b Kleber, John E. (ed.) (2001). The Encyclopedia of Louisville. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. p. 380. ISBN 0-8131-2100-0. Retrieved September 13, 2014.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  9. ^ Kelley, Norman (2002). R&B, Rhythm and Business: The Political Economy of Black Music. New York: Akashic Books. pp. 107–108. ISBN 1-888451-68-8.
  10. ^ Peterson, Bernard L. (1993). A Century of Musicals in Black and White. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. p. 283. ISBN 0-313-26657-3.
  11. ^ "Dead Man Blues". Malcolmloweryatthe19thhole.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  12. ^ Wynn, Neil A. (2007). Cross the Water Blues: African American Music in Europe. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-57806-960-6.
  13. ^ "Edmonia Henderson Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  14. ^ a b ""Jelly Roll Blues" / "Lazy Daddy Blues"". Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  15. ^ "Various artists, I'm Coming from Seclusion". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Edmonia Henderson". Rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  17. ^ "Various artists, Junkshop Special". Discogs. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  18. ^ "Edmonia Henderson: Songs". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-09-12.

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