On this day, October 15, in 1906, blues singer Victoria Spivey was born into a musical family in Houston, Texas. Her father was a railroad flagman and singer, and her brother and sister also sang professionally. She began a successful recording career in 1926 with “Black Snake Blues” on Okeh Records, and made a film appearance in King Vidor’s Hallelujah in 1929. Victoria Spivey continued to have a successful career in music throughout the 1930s and well into the 1960s until her death in 1976.
Remarkably, Vocalion 03405 was also recorded on this day, October 15 in 1936, Spivey’s thirtieth birthday, at Vocalion’s Chicago studio. Although different sources offer different personnel listings for Spivey’s accompaniment on this record appears to consist of the outstanding lineup of Lee Collins on trumpet, Arnett Nelson on clarinet, J. Harry “Mr. Freddy” Shayne on piano, and John Lindsay on string bass.
“Hollywood Stomp” is an excellent upbeat jazz song with a fine hot backing that harkens back to the times that preceded the swing era.
“Detroit Moan” is one of my personal favorites of the female blues genre, and features excellent performances by the backing musicians, not to mention Miss Spivey’s singing.
Updated with improved audio on November 16, 2016.