(1898 - 1986)
(born November 1, 1898, Houston, Texas;
died November 1, 1986, Detroit, Michigan)
Sippie Wallace, like fellow classic blues singer Victoria Spivey, was born in Texas and carried with her a tradition of Texas-styled blues that emphasized risqué lyrics and rough-cut, rural vocal phrasing rather than the sophisticated accents of the era' s more cosmopolitan blues singers.

Although her recording career stretched throughout most of the 20s, her best work was done from 1923 to 1927 when the likes of Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and Clarence Williams accompanied her in the recording studio.

Wallace was born Beulah Thomas, November 1, 1898, in Houston, Texas, an active blues town at the time.  Though she learned the rudiments of singing and playing the piano in church, her older brother, George Thomas, was probably the one who introduced her to the blues.  Early on she began performing with her younger piano playing brother, Hersal Thomas.

By the time she was in her mid-teens, Wallace had left home for a career in show business.  She performed with various Texas tent shows and built a solid following in Texas as a spirited blues singer.  Wallace moved to New Orleans with brother Hersal in 1915.  Two years later she married Matt Wallace.

After following her brothers to Chicago in 1923, Wallace worked her way into the city's bustling jazz scene.  Her reputation as a hard-bottomed blues singer led to a recording contract with Okeh Records in 1923.

Wallace's first recorded songs, "Shorty George" and "Up the Country Blues," the former written with her brother George, sold well enough to make Wallace a blues star in the early 20s. 

The Big Book of Blues:  A Biographical Encyclopedia; Robert Santelli.

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