Blue Monday

One of the benefits that might accrue from the attention being given to Sita Sings the Blues is a chance to resurrect the music of Annette Hanshaw, one of the first noteworthy female jazz singers of the Twenties. The clip above, taken from a 1933 short film called Captain Henry’s Radio Show, gives a pretty good idea of her appeal: lovely voice; light, easygoing style; a flapper’s looks; and a cheery, somewhat coy persona that earned her the nickname “The Personality Girl.” She recorded dozens of sides from the late Twenties through the early Thirties. Never confident of her vocal talent and weary of the music business, Hanshaw retired and married the head of one of her labels, Pathe Records. Though nowadays she’s known chiefly to hardcore jazzbos, a lot of her work is available on CD.

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