This is a look at some bluesy-jazzy wimmin singers and musicians who rock my world, musical foremothers whose voices echo as strongly today as they did decades ago. Crooners, shouters, songwriters and bandleaders, sirens and songbirds of years gone by... Let's get hep!

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Mahalia Jackson "The Apollo Sessions: 1946-1951" (Pair, 1994)

Mahalia Jackson "How I Got Over: The Apollo Records Sessions" (West Side, 1998)
A 3-CD set...

Mahalia Jackson "Forgotten Recordings" (Acrobat, 2005)
A 2-CD set...

Etta James "Tell Mama - The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions" (MCA-Universal, 2001)
The ever-vivacious Etta James is one of R&B's true greats, an artist whose work will always stand the test of time and this album, originally released in 1968, is one of her best-known and most powerful. More dynamic than expressive, James was a gal who clearly knew how to rock, capable of the same sort of expansiveness as Jimmy Rushing or even jump blues shouters such as Wynonie Harris, but also with a touch of the sleekness seen in Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald. The Tell Mama album is a flawless crowd pleaser, packed with upbeat, compact material, a tailormade showcase for James' mousy snarl. Backed by the best of the Muscle Shoals crew, this is music that can't easily be faulted; with ten bonus tracks added on for good measure, this CD edition is pretty hard to resist.

Lilette Jenkins "The Music Of Lil Hardin Armstrong" (Chiaroscuro, 1995)

Ella Johnson - see artist profile

Margaret Johnson "In Chronological Order: 1923-1927" (Document, 1996)

Mary Johnson "In Chronological Order: 1929-1936" (Document, 1995)

Merline Johnson "The Yas Yas Girl - Complete Works, v.1: 1937-1938" (Document, 1994)

Merline Johnson "The Yas Yas Girl - Complete Works, v.2: 1938-1939" (Document, 1994)

Merline Johnson "The Yas Yas Girl - Complete Works, v.3: 1938-1939" (Document, 1994)

Betty Hall Jones "The Complete Recordings: 1947-1954" (Blue Moon, 2005)

More Swingin' Gals -- Letter "K"

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