Ma Rainey

Ma Rainey – “Prove It On Me Blues”

September 11, 2014
They say I do it, ain’t nobody caught me. Ma Rainey talks back to the State in “Prove It On Me Blues.” The song nods to her arrest in 1925 for participating in an orgy with women in her home (Bessie Smith, her lover and another blueswoman, bailed her out of jail). Even the illustration for “Prove It On Me Blues” gives all the middle finger: Ma Rainey wears a suit and chats up a couple ladies with a cop looking on. Talk to the gals just like any old man. Yup. But where are the receipts?