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Victoria Spivey

Born: October 15, 1906 | Died: 1976    Primary Instrument: Vocalist

Victoria Spivey

Victoria Spivey was one of the few female blues vocalists of the 1920s to continue her career well beyond the classic blues era. In addition to being a stage performer and recording artist, Spivey was also a witty songwriter and shrewd businesswoman. Her keen grasp of the business end of he blues enabled her to keep touring and making records long after nearly all the other classic blues singers of the 1920s had faded from the scene.

As a blues singer, Spivey did not compare with the towering talent of Bessie Smith or Ida Cox; Spivey's voice might have lacked refinement and range, but her moaning wais and country blues phrasing not only reflected her Texas roots but also made her blues believable. Spivey wrote some of the more penetratingly direct blues songs of the classic blues era. ''T-B Blues'' deal with the rejection that tuberculosis victims faced in the 20's. ''Dope Head Blues'' might well have been the first blues song recorded about the dangers of cocaine, while ''Organ Grinder Blues'' dripped with eroticism....
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