Who better to explain the blues then the woman who claimed to have named them?
Gertrude “Ma Rainey” was known as the mother of the blues. She started recording for Paramount in 1923, but was old hand at it by then. She’d already been singing the blues for two decades. In fact, she claimed to have named the genre around the turn of the century. Here she is with “Explaining the Blues” from 1925. With her husband, Pa Rainey, she worked on a series of traveling shows, revues, and the famed Rabbit Foot minstrels. And they would perform under perhaps the very-coolest band name in music history: Rainey and Rainey Assassinators of the Blues.