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Bertha 'Chippie' Hill

One of the better classic blues singers of the 1920s (and much less vaudeville-oriented than many of her contemporaries), Chippie Hill was one of the few singers of her generation to make a full-fledged comeback in the '40s. One of 16 children, she started working in 1916 as a dancer before she became better known as a singer. She toured with Ma Rainey's Rabbit Foot Minstrels and went on to become a solo performer on vaudeville for a long period. Hill settled in Chicago in 1925 and recorded regularly for a few years. After working steadily in the Chicago area until 1930 (including touring with Lovie Austin), she eventually left music to raise seven children. Hill occasionally sang during the next 15 years (including with Jimmie Noone) but mostly worked outside of music. She was rediscovered by writer Rudi Blesh in 1946, working in a bakery. Appearances on Blesh's This Is Jazz radio series resulted in her coming back to the music scene, performing at the Village Vanguard, Jimmy Ryan's and even appearing at Carnegie Hall in 1948 with Kid Ory. She sang at the Paris Jazz Festival, worked with Art Hodes in Chicago, and was back in prime form in 1950 when she was run over by a car and killed. Chippie Hill, who introduced Richard M. Jones' "Trouble in Mind" in 1926, recorded 23 titles during 1925-1929 with such sidemen as Jones, Louis Armstrong, Shirley Clay, Georgia Tom Dorsey, Tampa Red, and Punch Miller. She also recorded nine selections on two dates in 1946 with Lee Collins, Lovie Austin, Baby Dodds, and Montana Taylor. ~ Scott Yanow
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Baby, How Can It Be? Songs Of Love, Lust & Contempt From The 1920s And 30s

Disc 1

1. Baby, How Can It Be?

8. Hapa Haole Hula Girl

9. Sweetest Girl In Town

17. Lost Lover Blues

20. Don't Leave Me Here

Disc 2

2. Tomi Tomi

7. It's Heated

13. There's More Pretty Girls Than One

20. Nehi Mama Blues

Disc 3

1. I'm Gonna Kill Myself

2. She Ain't Built That Way

4. You Gonna Look Like A Monkey When You Get Old

7. I Used To Call Her Baby

15. Some Cold Rainy Day

16. Corinna Blues

17. Big Leg Blues

20. The World Is Going Wrong

x

Track List: Broadcasting The Blues: Black Blues In The Segregation Era

Disc 1

1. Baby, Please Don't Go

2. Match Box Blues

3. Yonder Come The Blues

4. Yellow Dog Blues

5. Walkin' Blues

7. My Soul Is A Witness

8. Long Hot Summer Days

9. Lucky Holler

10. Penitentiary Moan

11. Old Country Stomp

12. Dry Bone Shuffle

13. Mysterious Coon

17. I Heard The Voice Of A Porkchop

18. Spike Driver Blues

20. Fare Thee Well Blues

21. Poor Boy, Long Ways From Home

22. Travelin' Blues

Disc 2

1. Chocolate To The Bone

3. Tennessee Dog

5. Washboard Cut-Out

6. Flying Crows Blues

7. Rules And Regulations 'Signed Razor Jim'

8. Ground Hog Blues

10. Wednesday Evening She Left Me

11. Lonesome Day Blues

14. Black, Brown And White

15. Pratt City Blues

16. Blues Before Sunrise

17. Blues Trip Me This Morning

18. Poor Man Blues

20. My Black Mama - Part I

21. Cotton Pickin' Blues

23. Number 29

24. Jim Crow Blues

Disc 3

1. Aunt Caroline Dyer Blues

3. Policy Dream Blues

4. North Memphis Blues

6. They Ain't Walkin' No More

7. Ice Pick Blues

9. Parchman Farm Blues

10. Shelby County Workhouse Blues

11. Working On The Project

13. Let's Have A New Deal

14. Tallahatchie River Blues

15. St. Louis Cyclone Blues

17. Fire Department Blues

18. Give Me A 32-30

20. Build A Cave

21. Crying Mother Blues

23. The Dirty Dozen

24. Three Ball Blues

25. Milk Cow Blues

26. Cool Drink Of Water Blues

27. Some Summer Day

28. Make Me A Pallet On The Floor

30. Spirit Of Boogie Woogie

31. Fifty Miles Of Elbow Room

x

Track List: Flashbacks #4: Heartbreakers Blue & Lonely, 1927-1946

4. I'm Making Believe

6. Blues In The Night

7. Lawd, You Made The Night Too Long

8. How Can You Have The Blues?

9. Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out

10. Blues In Disguise

11. Moanin' Low

14. Denver Blues

15. If I Had My Way

16. Some Cold Rainy Day

19. Daddy Goodbye Blues

20. Smoke Dreams

22. Oh Ambulance Man

23. Blue Moon

24. September Song

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