Various Artists

Men Are Like Street Cars: Women Blues Singers 1928-1969

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Men Are Like Street Cars is far from last word on female blues singers -- how could it be without anything by Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Ida Cox, Ma Rainey, Lucille Bogan, or Sippie Wallace? But then, MCA never claimed that it was, and one can state without a moment's hesitation that this two-CD, 46-song collection covers a lot of ground, and that MCA put a great deal of time and effort into assembling it. Spanning 1928-1969, Street Cars starts out with some late-'20s recordings by classic blues singers Jenny Pope and Bertha "Chippie" Hill before treating us to the country blues of Memphis Minnie (who is heard on 1930's "Bumble Bee" and 1952's "Me and My Chauffeur Blues"), the jump blues of Big Mama Thornton and the blues-influenced swing or swing-influenced blues of Billie Holiday (who is represented by "I Got a Right to Sing the Blues" and "T'aint Nobody's Business If I Do"), Blue Lu Barker, Rosetta Howard, Ella Johnson, Dinah Washington, Helen Humes, and Alberta Hunter. It is on Disc two that Street Cars ventures into electric urban blues and soul with classics by Katie Webster ("I Feel So Low"), Etta James ("Something's Got a Hold on Me"), Koko Taylor ("Wang Dang Doodle"), Irma Thomas ("Good to Me"), and Ike & Tina Turner ("Three O'Clock Blues"). Major praise should go to Mary Katherine Aldin, who selected all of the material for MCA and provides exhaustive, incredibly detailed liner notes -- she certainly did her homework. From excellent digital remastering and good or excellent material to first-rate liner notes and attractive art work, Men Are Like Street Cars treats its subject matter with the reverence it deserves. Blues lovers should make a point of obtaining it.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
3:22 Amazon
2
3:23 Amazon
3 2:49 Amazon
4 3:18 Amazon
5
2:47 Amazon
6 2:58
7 3:03 Amazon
8 3:12 Amazon
9 2:46 Amazon
10 2:36 Amazon
11 3:06 Amazon
12 2:39 Amazon
13 2:54
14
2:25 Amazon
15 2:53 Amazon
16 2:47 Amazon
17 2:46 Amazon
18 3:20
19
3:18 Amazon
20 3:23 Amazon
21
2:52 Amazon
22 2:45 Amazon
23 3:04 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
3:05 Amazon
2 2:51 Amazon
3 2:54 Amazon
4 2:05 Amazon
5 2:44 Amazon
6
2:51 Amazon
7 2:52
8
2:32 Amazon
9 2:55 Amazon
10 2:43 Amazon
11
2:24 Amazon
12
2:45 Amazon
13 2:24 Amazon
14 2:13 Amazon
15
2:41 Amazon
16 2:15 Amazon
17 2:51 Amazon
18 2:51 Amazon
19 2:26 Amazon
20 3:04
21 2:36 Amazon
22 3:16 Amazon
23 2:38 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick