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"Queen" Victoria Spivey, the Business Woman

In the 1920s, many singers could not do as much as Victoria Spivey. She wrote songs, performed well, and accompanied herself on the piano, organ, and the ukelele. Victoria Spivey could do it all and was the inspiration for future musicians to come.

Victoria Spivey grew up within a musical family in Houston, Texas. Her father played in the family string band where her siblings sang the blues. Spivey started learning the piano early in life. She got her start at about seven when she began performing in public as an effort to earn money for the family after her father was accidentally killed on the job.

Some earlier influences of hers was Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, and Mamie Smith. At about nineteen, Spivey recorded her first record, "Black Snake Blues." It was issued on Okeh Record label, in 1926.

Though she grew up singing the blues she later crossed over to perform in musical revues, and the jazz big band genre. All of which opened her up to opportunities to perform and sing in big bands like Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, and Count Basie. She was an entrepreneur of her time quick to make decisions about her career.

Spivey was most famous for her moan, as she called it her "tiger moan." As well as her sexual innuendos within the context of her songs. Spivey was one of the most influential blues singers of her time because she was alive long enough to connect to the younger aspiring musicians.



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