Memphis Minnie (1897–1973), born Lizzie Douglas, was a blues vocalist, songwriter and guitarist. Hailing from a family of sharecroppers in Mississippi, she learnt to play the guitar and the banjo as a teenager, and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to busk on street corners. She married the blues singer and guitarist Joe McCoy, and in 1929 the pair were discovered by a scout for Columbia Records. In 1930, she recorded ‘Bumble Bee’ under the name Memphis Minnie, which would go on to be a smash hit and become her top-selling record. Following her divorce from McCoy in 1935, Minnie started to play the electric guitar and experimented with her sound, adding a country twist to the blues.
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