Fannie May Goosby

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Fannie May Goosby
Also known asFannie Mae Goosby
Possibly Pinehurst, Georgia, United States
DiedAfter 1934
GenresClassic female blues
Occupation(s)Singer, pianist, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, piano
Years active1923–1928
LabelsOkeh, Brunswick

Fannie May Goosby (born 1902, died after 1934)[1] also known as Fannie Mae Goosby was an American classic female blues singer, pianist and songwriter.[2] Ten of her recordings were released between 1923 and 1928, one of which, "Grievous Blues", she recorded twice. Goosby was one of the first female blues musicians to record her own material. She also was one of the first two blues singers to be recorded in the Deep South, the other being the dirty blues singer Lucille Bogan.[3][4]

Details of her life outside the recording studio are minimal.


According to the blues researchers Bob Eagle and Eric S. LeBlanc, Goosby may have been born in Pinehurst, Georgia.[1]

In early June 1923, Polk C. Brockman, an Atlanta-based furniture store owner, who had been instrumental in the distribution of disks for Okeh Records, went to New York to work out a new business deal with Okeh.[5][6] He was asked if he knew of any artist in Atlanta that could justify a recording trip to Georgia. Brockman promised to return with an answer. At his next meeting with the Okeh Records board, he persuaded Ralph Peer to record Fiddlin' John Carson.[7] At the same recording sessions, probably on June 14, 1923, Peer also recorded "The Pawn Shop Blues", sung by Lucille Bogan, and Goosby singing her own composition "Grievous Blues", for which she accompanied herself on the piano, with a trumpet part[8] played by Henry Mason.[9] It is notable as the first rural blues to be recorded.[10] Goosby wrote most of her own songs, which was then a rarity among female blues singers.[11] Carson, Bogan, and Goosby were subsequently invited to New York to record more tracks.[12] Goosby recorded another version of "Grievous Blues" and five more songs in September and October of that year, all of which were released by Okeh.[13]

Goosby also accompanied Viola Baker in March 1924 on Baker's recording of "Sweet Man Blues".[14]

Goosby recorded another four tracks in March 1928, which appeared on the Brunswick label.[13][15] One of these was "Fortune Teller Blues", written by Porter Grainger and originally recorded by Geneva Gray on November 4, 1926. It was later recorded by Martha Copeland, Viola McCoy, Rosa Henderson, and Goosby.[16]

Eagle and LeBlanc stated that Goosby was last reported alive in New York around 1934.[1] No further biographical information about her later life has been discovered.


All songs were written by Goosby, except as indicated otherwise.

Month and year Title Songwriter Record label Notes
June 1923 "Grievous Blues" Okeh Records Recorded in Atlanta
September 1923 "Grievous Blues" Okeh Records Recorded in New York
September 1923 "I've Got the Blues, That's All" Okeh Records
October 1923 "I Believe My Man Has Got a Rabbit's Leg" Okeh Records
October 1923 "Goosby Blues" Okeh Records
October 1923 "All Alone Blues" Okeh Records
October 1923 "I've Got a Do Right Daddy Now" Eddie Heywood Okeh Records
March 1928 "Fortune Teller Blues" Porter Grainger Brunswick Records
March 1928 "Can't Use You Blues" Brunswick Records
March 1928 "Dirty Moaner Blues" Brunswick Records
March 1928 "Stormy Night Blues" Brunswick Records


Compilation albums[edit]

  • Piano Singer's Blues: Women Accompany Themselves (Rosetta Records, 1982) includes Goosby's "Fortune Teller Blues"[22]
  • Female Blues Singers Vol. 7 (Document Records, 2005) includes Goosby's "Grievous Blues" and "Goosby Blues"[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 509. ISBN 978-0313344237.
  2. ^ Harrison, Daphne Duval (1990). Black Pearls: Blues Queens of the 1920s. New Brunswick and London: Rutgers. p. 247. ISBN 0-8135-1280-8.
  3. ^ "Female Blues Singers, vol. 7, G/H". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  4. ^ "An Unfinished State". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  5. ^ Wolfe, Charles K. (2001). Classic Country: Legends of Country Music. Routledge. p. 64. ISBN 978-0415928274.
  6. ^ Malone, Bill C.; McCulloh, Judith (1975). Stars of Country Music: Uncle Dave Macon to Johnny Rodriguez. University of Illinois Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780252005275.
  7. ^ * Miller, Zell (1996). They Heard Georgia Singing. Mercer University Press. p. 72. ISBN 0865545049.
  8. ^ Oliver, Paul (25 August 2009). Barrelhouse Blues: Location Recording and the Early Traditions of the Blues. Basic Books. p. 235. ISBN 978-0-465-01989-2.
  9. ^ "Cleo Gibson & Her Hot Three, Okeh 8700 (1929)". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  10. ^ Curtiss, Lou (2014-06-20). "Race Records: The Birth of Black Blues and Jazz". San Diego Troubadour. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  11. ^ "Honey, Where You Been So Long?". 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  12. ^ Heylin, Clinton (18 June 2015). It's One for the Money. Little, Brown. p. 55. ISBN 978-1-4721-1200-2.
  13. ^ a b c "Fannie May Goosby (composer)". Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  14. ^ a b Craig Martin Gibbs (20 December 2012). Black Recording Artists, 1877–1926: An Annotated Discography. McFarland. p. 169. ISBN 978-0-7864-7238-3.
  15. ^ "Fannie Mae Goosby: Big Road Blues". 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  16. ^ "Porter Grainger". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  17. ^ Laird, Ross (1996). Moanin' Low: A Discography of Female Popular Vocal Recordings, 1920–1933. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 207. ISBN 978-0-313-29241-5.
  18. ^ "ATL 2067 Research". Open Music Archive Projects. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  19. ^ "Fannie May Goosby (Vocalist: Contralto)". Discography of American Historical Recordings. 1923-06-14. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  20. ^ "Brunswick Records: 7000 "Race" Series 78rpm Numerical Discography". 2009-03-23. Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  21. ^ "Labelliste von „OKeh", USA (1927–1934). Labelcode: 00288". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  22. ^ "Various artists, Piano Singer's Blues: Women Accompany Themselves". Retrieved 2017-03-31.
  23. ^ "Fannie May Goosby: Fortune Teller Blues". Retrieved 2017-03-31.