Ma Rainey biography, Songs, Movies and More

 Ma Rainey was an American singer who was also known as the 'Mother of the Blues'.  Her real name is Gertrude Pridgett. She has influenced the generation of blues singers.

Who is Ma Rainey?

She is the first popular singer and stage entertainer to incorporate authentic blues. She performed for three decades during the 20th century. In the 1920s, she got mass popularity during the blues craze. Rainey music has served as motivation for the poets and singers such as Langston Hughes. African American poet Sterlin Brown in Black Culture and Black Consciousness describing Rainey as 'Person of the folk,' Rainey recorded in many musical settings and exhibited the influence of genuine rural blues. She is recognized as the first great female vocalist in blues.

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Short Biography of Ma Rainey

Short Biography

Full Name Gertrude Pridgett
Born April 26,1886
Birthplace Columbus, Georgia, US
Died December 22, 1939
Death place Columbus, Georgia, US
Age 53 Years
Genres Blues and classic Female Blues
Occupation Vocalist
Labels Paramount

Some Famous Songs

See See Rider (C. C. Rider)
Prove It on Me
Blues oh Blues
Sleep Talking
Oh Papa Blues

Early Life of Ma Rainey

Pridgett claimed to have been born on April 26, 1886,  in Columbus, Georgia, US. However, the 20th-century census indicates that Rainey was born in September 1982 in Alabama, US. She was the second of five children of Thomas and Ella Pridgett from, Alabama, US. Ma Rainey married William 'pa' Rainey when she was 18 years old in 1904.

Early Career of Ma Rainey

She began her career as a stage performer at a talent show when she is 12 to 14 years old in Columbus. After she started performing in Black minstrel Shows. She later claimed that She was the first lady to expose to blues in 1902. She also formed the Alabama Fun Makers company with her husband, William Rainey. But in 1906, Both joined Patrick Chappell's company named Rabbits Foot Company.

Personal Life

Ma Rainey and Pa Rainey both adopted a son named Danny. Later Danny also joined their act as well. Later, Rainey developed a relationship with Bessie Smith and they became so close to each other therefore rumors circulated that their relationship is romantic in nature too.


Ma Rainey returned to her Home town Columbus, Georgia, US, in 1935. There she runs three theaters name The Lyrics, The Airdome, the Liberty theater until her death. After $ years he died due to a Heart Attack in 1939 at the age of 53 (or 57, according to the research of Bob Eagle), in City Hospital of Columbus, Georgia, US ( Some sources say in Rome, Georgia).


In 2020 Wilson's Movie 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' appeared to screen with Viola Davis staring as Rainey and Chadwick Boseman as Trumpeter Levee.

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Ma Rainey biography, Songs, Movies and More


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Published Date
20 December 2020

Last Updates
20 December 2020


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