Get to know these popular black couples who have doubled down as musicians

Elikem M. Aflakpui September 07, 2019
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Pa & Ma Rainey

Pa & Ma Rainey
William Rainey and Gertrude Pridgett got married on February 2, 1904. Both of them had successful careers, with William as comedy songster and Gertrude as one of the first blues singers to record music. She is nicknamed the “Mother of the Blues”.

William was Gertrude’s manager and mentor but eventually, they became a performing duo. Together, as “Ma and Pa Rainey,” the couple travelled around Georgia, performing and making a name for themselves. The couple were hard-working, charming, and popular, managing to make a career out of Gertrude’s soulful and often funny singing style for more than thirty years.


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