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Estelle Yancey

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Birth name  Estelle Harris
Labels  Atlantic
Record label  Atlantic Records
Years active  1950s–1980s
Role  Singer

Occupation(s)  Singer
Name  Estelle Yancey
Associated acts  Jimmy Yancey
Genres  Blues, Boogie-woogie
Estelle Yancey yanceyfamilygenealogyorgpic1550jpg
Born  January 1, 1896Cairo, Illinois, United States (1896-01-01)
Died  April 19, 1986, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Albums  Une soiree avec les Yancey (Mono version)
People also search for  Jimmy Yancey, Alonzo Yancey, Israel Crosby

Also known as  Mama Estella Yancey

Estelle "Mama" Yancey (January 1, 1896 – April 19, 1986) was an American blues singer. She was nominated four times for Blues Music Awards as Traditional Blues Female Artist.

Estelle Yancey Estelle Yancey Estelle Mama Yancey January 1 1896 April 19 1986

Life and career

Estelle Yancey httpsiytimgcomvihZFt3MZYGgghqdefaultjpg

Yancey was born Estella Harris in Cairo, Illinois, and grew up in Chicago, where she sang in church choirs and learned to play the guitar. In 1925, when she was 29, she married Jimmy Yancey, who had traveled in the United States and Europe as a vaudeville dancer. She often sang with him at informal gatherings and house parties in the 1940s and performed with him at Carnegie Hall in 1948. Jimmy Yancey was a boogie-woogie and blues piano player, and Estelle recorded several times with him. In 1943, the Yanceys recorded for Session Records. They recorded the album Pure Blues for Atlantic Records in 1951, just a few months before Jimmy Yancey's death that same year.

Estelle continued to perform and record. In her later years, she often performed with Chicago pianist Erwin Helfer, especially at the University of Chicago Folk Festival. One of the best examples of her soulful, expressive vocals is the album Jimmy and Mama Yancey: Chicago Piano, vol. 1 (Atlantic Records, 1952), which includes "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor," "Four o'Clock Blues," "Monkey Woman Blues," "Santa Fe Blues," and "How Long Blues."

Yancey's recordings with other pianists include Mama Yancey, Singer, Don Ewell, Pianist (Windin' Ball Recordings, 1952); Chicago—The Living Legends: South Side Blues" (Riverside, 1961); Mama Yancey Sings, Art Hodes Plays Blues" (Verve Records, 1965); Maybe I'll Cry, with Erwin Helfer (Red Beans, 1983) recorded when she was 86 and 87 years old; and "The Blues of Mama Yancey: Axel Zwingenberger and the Friends of Boogie Woogie, vol. 4 (Vagabond Records, recorded in 1982 and 1983 and released in 1988.

Yancey died on April 19, 1986, in Chicago.


Estelle Yancey Wikipedia