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Who Was Ma Rainey’s Real Band?

Who Was Ma Rainey’s Real Band?

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of those rare films with only one major setting: a Chicago recording studio in 1927. The entire film, and the play it was based on, tells the story of four backing musicians waiting for Madame “Ma” Rainey (Viola Davis) to arrive and cut some sides. According to the label on the 78, Rainey’s 1927 recording of “’Ma’ Rainey’s Black Bottom” and her remake of “Moonshine Blues” of that year was done by “Ma” Rainey and her Georgia Jazz Band.

The Musicians

There are no session notes on the musicians who played on the title song of the Netflix film. Indeed, when Den of Geek sat down with the cast of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actor Glynn Turman told us, “We found photographs of her band members, but that was the closest and most detailed information that we had. Not so much as any particular

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