Strange & beautiful images and interesting info from the years 1900-1935 (with emphasis on movies & the arts). This is written to accompany Becky Bradway's novel-in-progress, Into the Beautiful New. And check out my blog on old movies & writers at intothebeautifulnew.com.
Ma Rainey & her band, 1923. Ma worked with some of the best musicians of the era and was friends with Bessie Smith. She was also an “out” lesbian who didn’t hesitate to write about it: ”Went out last night with a crowd of my friends,/They must have been women, ‘cause I don’t like no men./ Wear my clothes just like a fan,/Talk to gals just like any old man/ ’Cause they say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me, Sure got to prove it on me.” Most of her deep voiced, gutsy recordings were made during the twenties, and she retired from touring in 1935.