Kansas City Kitty was a name used by a woman or women who made records with Georgia Tom Dorsey during the early '30s. About 60 years later, Document released a collection of 16 Vocalions recorded in March 1931 and four sides cut for Bluebird in November 1934, on which someone operated a kazoo so skillfully that it sounded at times like a cornet. This stash does not include "Do It Some More" or "Knife Man Blues," which were the last Vocalions released under the name of Kansas City Kitty. During the 1990s the producers at Document often transferred scratchy 78s directly to compact disc with no noise reduction whatsoever. Some of the tracks on this collection carry enough surface noise to replicate the historic 78-rpm playback experience with perhaps more accuracy than some listeners would prefer. As for the music, this is typical of Georgia Tom Dorsey's blues output, which coexisted with the works of his "other self," the legendary gospel composer and performer Thomas A. Dorsey. Note that "Scronchin'" refers to a dance that had been celebrated on records in the late '20s by guitarist Tampa Red and reedman Cecil Scott. It would be popularized in the late '30s by Duke Ellington, whose "Skrontch" was covered by Cab Calloway and Fats Waller. The name Kansas City Kitty, which first appeared as the title of a song by Walter Donaldson that was recorded by banjoist Harry Reser's Syncopators in 1929, was subsequently used to title a Hollywood film in 1944. It is believed to have had greater significance in African-American culture through the publication and circulation of The Kansas City Kitty Dream Book, which lottery players would consult whenever numbers appeared to them in their dreams. Speculation continues as to the identity of the vocalist or vocalists who recorded under this pseudonym and may have used the fictitious name Jane Lucas as well. While Victoria Spivey has been cited as a possibility, more likely candidates are her sister Addie "Sweet Pease" Spivey and Mozelle Alderson. But nobody knows for sure who it was.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf