Chubby Newsome

Biography by

A legendary blues belter, Chubby Newsome was born in Detroit but gravitated toward New Orleans, both for a style to embrace and for a home. Newsome was something of a legendary beauty whose most notable…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

A legendary blues belter, Chubby Newsome was born in Detroit but gravitated toward New Orleans, both for a style to embrace and for a home. Newsome was something of a legendary beauty whose most notable feature -- aside from a very pretty face, lustrous hair, and a big voice -- was enormous hips, which she learned to use to her advantage as a singer and performer on the vaudeville circuit in the 1940s. She arrived in New Orleans in 1948 and quickly began making a name for herself locally in venues such as the Dew Drop Inn, where she was spotted by bandleader Paul Gayten, who got her signed up to the Deluxe label and recorded her late that year. Newsome's debut was the appropriately titled "Hip Shakin' Mama," which became a number eight hit on the rhythm & blues charts in early 1949. Newsome released four more singles for Deluxe backed by Dave Bartholomew and his band, but none was remotely as successful as her debut, despite being excellent records and some of the most delightfully raunchy New Orleans-style rhythm & blues of their era. She subsequently left Deluxe and split with Gayten's band after marrying his resident male vocalist, Ken Gorman. The union lasted through only part of 1949 and when Newsome next surfaced, it was fronting her own band at the Dew Drop Inn. She recorded a brace of excellent sides for the Regal label during the years 1949-1951, none of which were particularly successful. During the mid-'50s, Newsome surfaced as a member of the Bluzettes, an all-female R&B vocal group whose members also included Alberta Adams. Her last known recording sessions took place in 1957.