[Dixielandjazz] Re: Info Please, HOt 5 & Hot 7 Recordings

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Wed Dec 8 16:43:32 PST 2004

Dear Mike,
Regarding your comment: >They might be the several tracks with the bad
female blues singer.<
I assume you are referring to Lillie Delk Christian who was NOT a "bad
female blues singer". If fact she was not a blues singer all all, but a
well-respected vaudeville artist well known in Chicago theatres during the
The fact that jazz researchers have ignored her into obscurity should not
diminish her popularity at that time. Perhaps, if she had been based in New
I am sure singer Eva Taylor would have been similarly dismissed if it had
not been for the extensive exposure on husband Clarence Williams' many
records. Some of which also included Louis.
If Ms Christian was a 'bad' singer, I am sure Louis would not have been on 8
of her recorded sides in 1928.
Nor would she have made 16 titles for the popular Okeh label between March
1926 (with Johnny St Cyr and Jimmie Noone) and Dec 1928.
Mike, I am afraid that your casual comment is yet another echo from the many
jazz writers who have superficially Lil Christian her down over many years.
Either  they do not like girl singers (like many male jazz musicians I know)
or were not listening to her in the context of the 20s vaudeville era.
Lil Christian, billed as the 'Personality Queen' and the 'Red-Hot Little
Songbird' was a black 'pop' singer of her time, who (like her white sisters
Annette Hanshaw, Lee Morse, et al) may not appeal to listeners more attuned
to the girl singers of the 30s-40s big bands.
Listen again with 'kind ears'. And, perhaps, recall the era of the silent
All things move on, but the pioneer girl singers should not be cast aside
just because the style is now out-of-date.
Kind regards,
PS: I believe that there is a 1961 interview with Ms Christian in the Tulane
University, Hogan Jazz Archive in New Orleans.
Has anyone (Charles Suhor, Louis Lince?) seen or have access to this

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