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Tough Women

The women portrayed in the Knott family record collection are objects of affection; but most of the time that’s all we know about them. A few don’t just have stories, they have personalities.

Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters had a hit with Pistol Packin’ Mama in 1943. Listen to a bit of humor from a previous dark time.

Bing Crosby (1943)

A: Pistol Packin’ Mama


Another member in good standing with the league of self sufficient ladies is Minnie the Moocher. Minnie was imagined by Cab Callaway for a cartoon in 1931. This performance by Dannie Kay is also from the war years.

Danny Kaye (1942)

Minnie the Moocher


Finally we have a 1924 recording of Hard Hearted Hannah. I was expecting a singer telling me about ‘the vamp from Savannah’ but what we have is a hot jazz instrumental. The performers, The Little Ramblers, were just out of high school when this was recorded. Tommy Dorsey passed through this band long before he became a star in the swing era. Listen for yourself to Hannah’s story, straight from roaring twenties Chicago.

The Little Ramblers (1924)

Hard Hearted Hannah