Ma Rainey, also known as the “Mother of the Blues,” was quite an interesting person. This is something you should know if you have seen Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Viola Davis portrays a nuanced portrait of a black woman who was ahead of her time. We have all the details you need to learn more about her.
Was Ma Rainey really able to have gold teeth?
Yes, Ma Rainey had gold teeth. Ma Rainey was a talented woman who was also very professional. It’s no surprise then that Ma’s costumes for performances were a reflection of who she was. Ma was often seen wearing extravagant outfits and a lot of jewelry. The entire outfit made a statement when Ma took to the stage.
Thomas A. Ma and Dorsey collaborated on gospel music in the 1920s, and Dorsey is generally considered the “Father of Gospel Music.” When she started singing, he said, “the gold would gleam in her teeth.” He also said, “She was the centre of attention. She was a magnet for listeners. They rocked, they swayed, and they groaned as she felt the blues.
Was Ma Rainey a lesbian?
Ma Rainey was a pioneer in the 1920s, especially when it came to race relations. Over the course of her career, Ma Rainey faced many obstacles, including racism and sexism. Bisexuality is commonly accepted as her sexual orientation. She and William “Pa” finally divorced, despite their marriage. Ma’s lover was Bessie Smith, a.k.a. the “Empress of Blues.” However, not much is known about Ma’s female lovers. It cannot be considered a reliable narrative.
Bessie was also mentored by the “Mother of the Blues”. It was rumoured that Ma kidnapped Bessie Smith when she was trying to make it big in music. Why? Ma forced Smith to join Rabbit’s Foot Minstrels because she was a part of it. Bessie was also allegedly taught the blues at this venue. Maud Smith, Maud Smith’s sister-in-law, refuted these claims.
Ma’s sexuality isn’t the only story. Ma was arrested in Chicago in 1925. She had thrown an all-female party, which was allegedly an orgy, the night before, leading to her arrest. Smith, her protege, apparently helped her bail out the next day. This could explain why they were romantically involved.The lyrics of the song “Prove It On Me Blues” hint at her flexible sexuality. “Went out last evening with a bunch of my friends,” it says. These must have been women, because I don’t like men.This is a common misunderstanding.
The lyrics of this song are not the only ones that hint at Ma’s apparent bisexuality. We believe Robert Philipson, the director of “T’Ain’t Nobody’s Bozness: Queer Blues Divas in the 1920s”, best explains that the songs Ma Rainey recorded had some references to homosexuality and lesbianism. This is just a small selection of the many blues songs that have been recorded. It was amazing that any were recorded at all, given the time. It is not something you would find in American culture.
Who was Ma Rainey’s husband?
Ma Rainey and William “Pa” Rainey were married in 1904. They travelled together, performing in minstrel shows such as Rabbit’s Foot Company. They formed Rainey and Rainey, the Assassinators of the Blues, in 1914. Before getting divorced, they had adopted a kid named Danny. Although it is believed she married a younger man later, there is not much information about that.
Most importantly, Ma was connected to Bessie Smith, her mentor and protege, even though she never identified herself as bisexual. Both were talented singers, and their lyrics were often quite risque. These similarities bonded them and they became romantically related. We don’t know the details of their relationship, as there is no evidence to support it.
Taylour Paige plays Ma’s fictional girlfriend, Dussie Mae, in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” She said that her role is “just like there are infinite ways to be a girl and none of them make you less than any other, just because it differs from some heteronormative conscious.” “Sex is not something that matters to a female, and she can choose to have sex with whom she likes, just as any man does.” Ma, in the end, was an empowered woman who lived her truth.