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#91: The Last of the Red Hot Mamas

August 30, 2009

Oh do I love house sitting.  Especially in a gorgeous, turn of the century house in North Brooklyn.  Especially when my dear travelers have a subscription to the New York Times that I can lazily leaf through in a bright, sunny kitchen over a breakfast of fresh fruit from the farmers’ market (the new apples have arrived, I can hardly believe it!).

Do check out the fabulous write up in today’s Arts & Leisure section about the last of the red hot mamas, Miss Sophia Tucker.  Throughout her incredible career that spanned nearly 70 years beginning in 1910, she showed the world what a Hot Mama was made of.  Aeroplane Records has just released an anthology of her earliest recordings from 1910-1922 transferred from the original wax cylinders and 78s.

“…what is striking about Tucker’s vocals, even on her earliest cylinder recordings, is how she transmutes the rowdy comedy and raised decibels of the shouting tradition into a thrilling, idiosyncratic personal style. Her vocal tone is inimitable: husky, rumbling and very, very loud — the voice of a variety-stage veteran determined to peel paint off the cheap seats in the third balcony. (Tucker worried that her voice sounded like a foghorn on her cylinder records. She was right about the foghorn, but wrong to worry.)”

Sophia Tucker, the Red Hot Mama, in 1912

Sophia Tucker, the Red Hot Mama, in 1912

Take a listen by clicking here, and add the recordings of this “bumptious, oversexed” radical to your wish list!

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