Nancy Wilson: Born February 20, 1937

Nancy Wilson’s musical style is so diverse that it is hard to classify. Over the years her repertoire has included pop style ballads, jazz and blues, show tunes and well known standards. Critics have described her as “a jazz singer,” “a blues singer,” “a pop singer,” and “a cabaret singer.” Still others have referred to her as “a storyteller,” “a professor emeritus of body language,” “a consummate actress,” and “the complete entertainer.” Then who is this song stylist (that’s the descriptive title she prefers) whose voice embodies the nuances of gospel, blues, and jazz? Her colleague and long time friend Joe Williams used to call her “the thrush from Columbus.”
http://musicians.allaboutjazz.com/nancywilson

Please note: since we originally posted this, Nancy Wilson passed away, on December 13, 2018.

July 1~ Willie Dixon & James Cotton

 

Willie Dixon was born July 1, 1915, in Vicksburg, MS.
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/willie-dixon-mn0000959770/biography
Illustration: William Stout / Legends of the Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Cotton was born July 1, 1935, in Tunica, MS.
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/james-cotton-mn0000131841/biography
Illustration: Jack Coughlin / A Brush with the Blues: 26 Portraits

 

 

 

 

Willie Dixon and James Cotton with Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Spann, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Mable Hillery in 1966 at the Canadian CBC Television studio, recording a portion of a CBC “Festival” series:

http://www.allmovie.com/movie/masters-of-the-blues-v204117

Bessie Smith: Born on April 15, 1894

Smith’s childhood in 1890s Tennessee began with a series of setbacks that most people don’t get over: Her parents were dead by the time she was 10, and she and her siblings were raised in Chattanooga by an aggrieved older sister. They nearly starved. For money, her sister took in laundry. Young Bessie sang on the street and at churches that sent for the child with the extraordinary voice.

By the age of nine, she had a following. By 16, she’d met blues great Ma Rainey and begun traveling with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels, a touring variety show that played to rural populations of the South and Midwest. By 24, Smith had lit out as a solo act…
https://www.npr.org/2018/01/05/575422226/forebears-bessie-smith-the-empress-of-the-blues

https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/bessie-smith
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bessie-smith-mn0000054707/biography
http://www.naxos.com/person/Bessie_Smith_2941/2941.htm