Hattie Hart worked both with and apart from The Memphis Jug Band. Among the songs she recorded that Tuba Skinny have taken up were Won't You Be Kind To Me? (her 1928 composition), Ambulance Man, and Papa's Got Your Bath Water On.
I must briefly mention Clara Smith, who was born around 1894 in Carolina and worked in both New Orleans and New York. In the 1920s, she recorded well over a hundred songs, often with some of the 'big names'. Though she did not compose it, Clara made Freight Train Blues famous; and this is another song Tuba Skinny have developed dramatically (train noises and all) in their repertoire.
And what about Mamie Smith (1883 - 1946 - no relation to the other Smiths)? She was the singer who made famous the song composed in 1920 by the 27-year-old Perry Bradford, Crazy Blues. He was the Musical Director of Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds. Mamie recorded it in the same year with huge success. This is now considered by jazz and blues scholars to have been an important milestone in the history of our music, because Mamie was the first black blues singer to be recorded.
Memphis Minnie has become a favourite of mine. It was she who recorded Me and My Chauffeur, Bumblebee, Blood Thirsty Blues, Frisco Town, I'm Goin' Back Home, What's The Matter With The Mill? as well as many other good old songs. Erika Lewis and Tuba Skinny have found her work to be a rich source.
She was a pianist as well as a singer and composer. (Among her compositions were TB Blues, How Do They Do It That Way?, Black Snake Blues, Detroit Moan, Moaning the Blues, Long Gone, and Spider Web Blues.) She made her first recording in 1926 and her last as late as 1964, having worked at times with several of the big names of jazz. At the age of 56, she launched a record label of her own. She even found time to marry four husbands. CLICK HERE to appreciate Victoria Spivey singing Any Kind A Man Would Be Better Than You; and you will understand at once how much she has influenced today's singers, such as Erika Lewis.
Georgia White was another blues singer who influenced Tuba Skinny. For example, Erika picked up Late Hour Blues from Georgia's 1939 recording of this song by Richard M. Jones. Georgia and Richard worked together and jointly composed I'm Blue and Lonesome; Nobody Cares For Me and Biscuit Roller - both of them songs Erika has adopted - to the delight of her fans. Georgia White is believed to have been born in 1903 and was working in Chicago by the 1920s.
While 'researching' these ladies, I discovered there were DOZENS more like them making good blues recordings at the same time. For example, check out Leonia Williams. There are several of her recordings from 1922 and 1923 on YouTube - some of them remarkably clear and impressive. She is accompanied by her 'Dixie Band', though I gather they were actually The Original Memphis Five.
I simply could not study the work of all these ladies. But believe me, they are there all right.