Personalities | Memphis Minnie | Thirties | Jazz & Blues
(Guitar, vocals, 1897–1973)
Lizzie Douglas was born in Algiers, Louisiana but was raised in Walls, Mississippi. She learned banjo and guitar at a young age and ran away to Memphis in 1910 to work the music circuit under the name Kid Douglas. She toured with the Ringling Brothers circus for several seasons prior to 1920 and also worked in jug bands, where she met and married ‘Kansas’ Joe McCoy.
They made their recording debut as Kansas Joe and Memphis Minnie for Columbia in 1929, and recorded for Victor in 1930 and Vocalion during 1930–34. Minnie moved to Chicago in the early 1930s and divorced McCoy in 1935. She recorded for Decca and Bluebird before returning to Vocalion/OKeh/Columbia from 1935–49. She teamed with her third husband, Ernest ‘Little Son Joe’ Lawlers, in 1939. Minnie then ran a vaudeville company before leaving the music business in the mid-1950s.
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