FEATURED ARTIST / S
Bessie Tucker, vocal.
With contributions by: K.D. (Mr. 49) Johnson, piano; Jesse "Babyface" Thomas, guitar.
Genres: Female vocal blues; Country blues, Texas blues.
Informative booklet notes by Roger Misiewicz.
Taken from this album's booklet notes.
Bessie Tucker first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee on August 28, 1928. From the sole surviving picture of her, she would appear to have been a young woman at the time, slim and fine featured. To all outward appearance, here is a genteel "high yellow" indeed.
However, once you hear her voice, immediately there is a marked difference from what you would have expected. A sombre, even somewhat dangerous aura comes immediately to the forefront. Moans, songs of travel, jail, fights with men, women and knowledge of the police are brought forward in a manner that could be artistry of the highest level, or otherwise mere brutal honesty - telling the stories she knew in song directly, personally, and immediately. If you listen with the latter assumptions, this initial session has a slice of life quality seldom equalled in the blues.
Bessie Tucker was never found by researchers, either. Paul Oliver came closest when he interviewed Whistlin' Alex Moore in 1960. Asking about Bessie Tucker and Ida May Mack, Oliver's response from Moore was "They're tough cookies, don't mess with them." So perhaps they were still alive in Dallas as late as 1960, but thirty years later no further information has been found. However, at long last we do have Bessie Tucker's legacy gathered together in one spot, and that is perhaps as it should be. Now she can be enjoyed and remembered at the height of her considerable talents.