Women of the Blues: A Coast To Coast Collection presents Chicago Blues Women
From the south side to the west side, from urban to suburban, Chicago Blues Women have been performing in clubs, in festivals and in studios for decades. From traditional to contemporary, classic to Chicago Blues they celebrate the social, moral, sexual consciousness raising landscape for America. The roots of the blues here in Chicago are portrayed through the lens of local and international photographers to capture their stunning, bold and immeasurable talent, pain and glory.
That is the essence of Women of the Blues: A Coast To Coast Collection.
Lynn Orman Weiss, founder and curator of Women of the Blues Foundation in partnership with Delmark Records President and CEO, Julia Miller, celebrate Women’s History Month with an exhibit featuring 100 blues women. The collection pays tribute to the 100 years of historical recordings, the first million dollar selling blues song, “Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith, a breakthrough into mainstream recording, and to pay homage to the women of the Suffrage Movement. The exhibit is in honor of Chicago’s Queen of the Blues, Koko Taylor, who was the original inspiration.
In a world and field where recordings and performances have been dominated by men, we want to articulate the importance of the blues woman in mainstream American culture. The exhibit premiered at the Blues Foundation’s Blues Hall of Fame during the IBC when the pandemic hit. Some of the collection is still in Memphis, but we have curated a show at the Delmark Records gallery to feature images of women from around the world performing the blues by extraordinary photographers from around the world. We have also included 25 historic album covers of Delmark releases including, Zora Young, Shirley Johnson, Big Time Sarah Bonnie Lee, Sharon Lewis, Grana Louise and Demetria Taylor.