Lucille Borgan was an American classic female blues singer— a type of music genre form of blues music performed by femalesingers along with pianists or small jazz ensembles which were popular in the 1920s originating from the Deep South of United States in 1860s— and a songwriter who was among the first classic blue singers recorded under this music genre.
Who Is Lucille Borgan
Real Name: Lucille Anderson
Birth Date: April 1, 1897
Died: August 10, 1948
Birth Place: Amory, Mississippi, USA
Marital Status: Married
Children/Kids: Son (Nazareth Borgan Jr)
Profession: Musician, Singer, Songwriter
Years active: 1923- 2935
Lucille Borgan known for her family name as Lucille Anderson was born in Armory, Mississippi on April 1, 1897, as the daughter of Gussie and Wylie Anderson.
Lucille Borgan was an American classic female blues singer— a type of music genre form of blues music performed by female singers along with pianists or small jazz ensembles which were popular in the 1920s originating from the Deep South of United States in 1860s— and a songwriter who was among the first classic blue singers recorded under this music genre.
The famous blues singer, Lucille Borgan, married Nazareth Lee Borgan, a railway man, and had a son, Nazareth Borgan Jr. in either 1915 or 1916. A few years after, she divorced Nazareth Borgan and tied the knot with James Spencer who was believed to have been 22 years younger than her.
Lucille Borgan Career
Lucille Borgan’s early career as a singer and songwriter commenced in her early life when moved and was raised by her parents in Birmingham, Alabama. Although little is known of her early life until she signed a record contract with Okeh Record Label, it is believed she first began her interest in singing in Birmingham as some reports asserted to have related her singing from Birmingham’s block underground— an industrial environment that lent itself to the blues.
In 1923, Lucille Borgan began her active career in music where she made her first recording under Okeh Record Label in Atlanta, Georgia. Lucille Borgan became notable for recording her song “Pawn Shop Blues” under the label with pianist Henry Callens making her the first time black blue singer recorded outside New York and California later that year.
In 1927, she got signed to Paramount Record Label in Graftan, Wisconsin; recording her first major success “Sweet Petunia” under the label which was covered by Blind Blake. Consequently, between the years 1928 and 1930, Lucille Borgan recorded for Brunswick Record Label and later got signed to Banner Records from 1933 to 1935.
Lucille Borgan used the pseudonym “Bessie Jackson” from 1933 to 1935. After shortly signing to Banner Records, she got signed to another record label teamed with pianist Walter Roland and signed a deal with the American Record Company in 1935 where she recorded almost one hundred songs. It was with this label that she released “Shave ‘Em Dry,” her most famous—or infamous—song with such graphic lyrics it would be banned on the radio even to date.
Lucille Borgan Music
Lucille Borgan’s unique style defined classic blue music in the 1920s. Influenced by singer Viola Mccocy, Lucille Borgan covered most of her songs in her early career. Perusing a career in music, Lucille Borgan had a reputation for eagerly performing explicit songs that had her to be regarded as a “dirty blues musician.”
Most of her blue songs talked about prostitution (Tricks ain’t Walking’ No More), lesbianism (Women Won’t Need No Men), alcoholism (Sloppy Drunk Blues), and abusive men (Women Don’t Need Men), sex, violence, and life underworld. Borgan had her song written from a point of view of a streetwalker.
Bogan’s lyrics often centered had sexual themes that portrayed a tough-woman image in these songs during the 1930s, akin to Bessie Smith, MaRainey, and Victoria Spivey, whose songs similarly praised what was deemed anti-social behaviour at the time.
Lucille Borgan Life Before The End of Her Career
After successfully making waves with her music which had her songs covered by later blues and jazz musicians, including Buddy Guy, B. B. King, and Sonny Boy Williamson, Borgan eventually relocated to Birmingham after American Record Company didn’t renew her contract. She later budged to West Coast where she managed Borgan’s Birmingham Busters— a group organized by her son.
As one of the outstanding and biggest black blues singers of all time, Borgan is known to have left Birmingham for Los Angeles, California in the mid-1930s -1940s when she died of coronary sclerosis on April 10, 1948. She was 51 years of age at the time of her demise. In 2022, she was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Lucille Borgan Net Worth
Although Lucille Borgan had a successful career in Classic Blues music, information about her precise net worth is not reliably published to the public. However, some online sources assert that her net worth is estimated to be $1 -$5 million as of 2021.