Victoria Spivey

Victoria Spivey got her start in music at age twelve when she began playing piano in a movie theatre in Houston, Texas. From there she expanded her musical career to playing in saloons and whorehouses. She was was a big fan of the Blues singer Ida Cox and modeled her own career after Cox's. In 1926 at the the age of twenty she travelled to St. Louis where Okeh records was on a field trip looking for new acts to record. She recorded her own songs Black Snake Blues and Dirty Woman Blues which became a best selling record. Over the the next two years she was quite a hot item and recorded records almost once a month, often with the accompaniment of great Jazz musicians like Lonnie Johnson, Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Clarence Williams, Luis Russell and many others, including her sister Addie "Sweet Pease" Spivey. In 1929 she played a small role in King Vidor's early film musical "Hallelujah". As the Blues craze and the record industry in general hit the skids in the early 1930s, Spivey somehow managed to keep recording and performing unlike almost all of the other Classic Blues singers. She expanded into playing in vaudeville musical revues, including the acclaimed Hellzapoppin' Revue in New York City and recorded and toured with Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra. Spivey was constantly working, playing countless one-night stands throughout the 1930s and 1940s, but by the l950s, Spivey had left show business, but continued singing in the church choir in her home in Brooklyn. Victoria returned to show business in 1962 when she formed her own record company, Spivey Records. Her first record on the label featured Bob Dylan as an accompanist. So, Spivey's career began again in the early 1960s; she began performing in folk and blues festivals and in nightclubs in and around New York City and continued to record for the rest of her life.

Title Director Year
Hallelujah King Vidor 1929

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
A Good Man Is Hard To Find
(Eddie Green)
11-1-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8565
Any Kind A Man 10-15-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
3366
Arkansas Road Blues 4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8481
Baulin' Water Blues - Part 1
with Harold Grey

(Victoria Spivey / Anna House)
6-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
23349-A
Baulin' Water Blues - Part 2
with Harold Grey

(Victoria Spivey / Anna House)
6-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
23349-B
Big Houston Blues 8-13-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8401
Black Snake Blues
(Victoria Spivey / Lonnie Johnson)
5-11-1926 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8338-A
Black Snake Swing
(Victoria Spivey)
7-7-1936 New York, New York Decca
7203 A
Blood Hound Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-1-1929 New York, New York Victor
38570-A
Bluebird
B-8619-A
Blood Thirsty Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-31-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8531
Blue Valley Blues 8-16-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8389-B
Christmas Morning Blues
(Lonnie Johnson)
10-28-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8517
Detroit Moan
(Victoria Spivey)
10-15-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
03405
Dirty T.B. Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-1-1929 New York, New York Victor
38570-B
Dirty Woman Blues
(Victoria Spivey / Lonnie Johnson)
5-11-1926 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8351-A
Don't Trust Nobody Blues 3-20-1931 New York, New York Victor
1640
Dope Head Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-28-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8531
Dreaming 'Bout My Man 4-21-1931 New York, New York Victor
Funny Feathers
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
7-10-1929 New York, New York Okeh
Funny Feathers Blues (1)
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
9-24-1929 New York, New York Victor
8713
Funny Feathers Blues (2)
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
9-24-1929 New York, New York Victor
8713
Furniture Man Blues - Part 1
(Spencer Williams / Victoria Spivey)
10-18-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8652
Furniture Man Blues - Part 2
(Spencer Williams / Victoria Spivey)
10-18-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8652
Garter Snake Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-28-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8517
Good Cabbage 7-8-1937 New York, New York Vocalion
3639
Got The Blues So Bad 8-13-1926 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8401
Got The Blues So Bad 3-12-1937 New York, New York Vocalion
From 1 To 12 (Dirty Dozen) 7-8-1937 New York, New York Vocalion
3505
Haunted By The Blues 2-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
38598
How Do You Do It That Way?
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
7-10-1929 New York, New York Okeh
8713
How Do You Do It That Way? (1)
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
9-24-1929 New York, New York Victor
How Do You Do It That Way? (2)
(Victoria Spivey / R. Floyd)
9-24-1929 New York, New York Victor
He Want's Too Much 3-20-1931 New York, New York Victor
Hollywood Stomp
(Victoria Spivey)
10-15-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
03405
Hoodoo Man Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
8-12-1926 New York, New York Okeh
Humored And Petted Blues 8-12-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8389-A
I Ain't Gonna Let You See My Santa Claus 10-15-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
3366
I Can't Last Long 8-30-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
Idle Hour Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8464
I'll Never Fall In Love Again 7-7-1936 New York, New York Decca
7203 B
It's Evil Hearted Me 8-12-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8410-A
Jelly Look What You Done Done
(Hurston)
11-1-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8550
Lonesome With The Blues 2-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
38598
Long Gone Blues
(Victoria Spivey / Lloyd Barnes)
5-13-1926 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8351-B
Low Down Man Blues 3-20-1931 New York, New York Vocalion
1640
Moaning The Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-1-1929 New York, New York Victor
38546
Bluebird
8619-A
Mosquito, Fly And Flea
(Victoria Spivey)
10-18-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8634
Murder In The First Degree
(Victoria Spivey)
11-1-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8581
My Handy Man
(Andy Razaf)
9-12-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8615
Mr. Freddie Blues
(J.H. Shayne)
10-1-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
Nebraska Blues 3-20-1931 New York, New York Vocalion
1606
New Black Snake Blues - Part 1
(Victoria Spivey)
10-13-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8626
New Black Snake Blues - Part 2
(Victoria Spivey)
10-13-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8626
New York Blues 2-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
38584
Nightmare Blues 10-31-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8581
No More Jelly Bean Blues
Piano by De Lloyd Barnes
Cornet by Pierce Gist

(Victoria Spivey / De Lloyd Barnes)
5-13-1926 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8338-B
No Papa, No!
(Victoria Spivey)
10-17-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8634
No. 12 Let Me Roam
(Victoria Spivey / Erby)
4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8494
One Hour Mama 3-12-1937 New York, New York Vocalion
3505
Organ Grinder Blues (A)
(Clarence Williams)
9-12-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8615
Organ Grinder Blues (C)
(Clarence Williams)
9-12-1928 New York, New York Okeh
8615
Red Lantern Blues 10-28-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8550
Santa Fe Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
8-12-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8410-B
Showered With The Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
2-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
38584
Spider Web Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
8-12-1926 New York, New York Okeh
8370
Steady Grind
(Victoria Spivey)
4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8464
Sweet Pease 7-7-1936 New York, New York Decca
7222 B
T-B Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8494
TB's Got Me
(Victoria Spivey)
7-7-1936 New York, New York Decca
7222 A
Telephoning The Blues
(Victoria Spivey)
10-1-1929 New York, New York Victor
38546
The Alligator Pond Went Dry 4-27-1927 St. Louis, Missouri Okeh
8481
Toothache Blues - Part 1
Piano by Clarence Williams

(Oscar Jefferson)
10-17-1928 New York, New York Vocalion
3243
Toothache Blues - Part 2
Piano by Clarence Williams

(Oscar Jefferson)
10-18-1928 New York, New York Vocalion
3243
Trouble In Mind
(Richard M. Jones)
10-1-1936 New York, New York Vocalion
You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now! - Part 1
(Victoria Spivey / Noble Floyd)
7-3-1929 New York, New York Okeh
8733
You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now! - Part 2
(Victoria Spivey / Noble Floyd)
7-3-1929 New York, New York Okeh
8733
Your Worries Ain't Like Mine 11-1-1927 New York, New York Okeh
8565
You've Gotta Have What It Takes - Part 1 6-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
38609
You've Gotta Have What It Takes - Part 2 6-26-1930 New York, New York Victor
38609
Artist Instrument
Henry "Red" Allen Trumpet
Gene Anderson Piano
Louis Armstrong Cornet
Harold Arnold Alto Saxophone
Charles Avery Piano
Paul Barbarin Drums
De Lloyd Barnes Piano
Burton Brewer Piano
Big Bill Broonzy Guitar
Teddy Bunn Guitar
Mancy Cara Banjo
Lee Collins Cornet
Elmer Crumbley Trombone
John Erby Piano
Georgia Tom Dorsey Piano
Eddie Durham Trombone
Joe Edwards Trombone
Noble Floyd Trombone
Reuben Floyd Trumpet
Pops Foster Bass
Pierce Gist Cornet
Chick Gordon Saxophone
Porter Grainger Piano
Herbert Hannas Banjo
J.C. Higginbotham Trombone
Teddy Hill Tenor Saxophone
Charlie Holmes Alto Saxophone
Lloyd Hunter Trumpet
Eddie Lang Guitar
John Lindsay Bass
George Lott Trumpet
Lonnie Johnson Guitar, Vocals
Will Johnson Guitar
Jo Jones Drums
Arnett Nelson Clarinet
Albert Nicholas Clarinet
King Oliver Cornet
Fred Robinson Trombone
Luis Russell Piano
J.H. Shayne Piano
Omer Simeon Clarinet
Zutty Singleton Drums
Dorothy Scott Piano
Randolph Scott Trumpet
Addie "Sweet Pease" Spivey Piano
Jimmy Strong Tenor Saxophone
Tampa Red Guitar
Bud Washington Drums
Leon Washington Saxophone
Archie Watts Alto Saxophone
Wallace Wright Tuba
Clarence Williams Piano