Known as ‘The Dixie Nightingale’ Eva Taylor was a blues and jazz singer. Born Irene Joy Gibbons in St Louis, Missouri in 1895, Eva began her career as a performer at the age of three and had toured a fair part of the world before she hit her teens.
Eva recorded her first blues record for the black owned Black Swan Records in 1922. Fellow blues artists Alberta Hunter, Lucille Hegamin and Ethel Waters would also record for the label. Eva’s nightingale tag was spot on. Her attractive warbling vocal style made her a hit with record buyers of the day.
Her performance on the Ragtime-style Candy Lips backed by her husband, pianist Clarence Williams, recorded in 1926 is typical of her crystal clear delivery. Eva knocked music on the head in the 40s but began touring again in the 60s and 70s following her husband’s death. She died in 1977.
Listen: Eva Taylor with the Clarence Williams Blue Seven - Candy Lips (1926)
Listen: Eva Taylor - Sugar Blues (rare - live on Swedish TV show Huset, 1975)