Ma Rainey Quotes

They hear it come out, but they don’t know how it got there. They don’t understand that’s life’s way of talking. You don’t sing to feel better. You sing cause that’s a way of understanding life.

If you don’t like my ocean don’t fish in my sea
Stay out of my valley and let my mountain be.

I can’t tell my future, so I’m going to tell my past.

This be an empty world without the blues.

[Advice to Bessie Smith:] Let your soul do the singin’.

A tune’s like a staircase – walk up on it.

My audience wants to see me beautifully gowned, and I have spared no expense or pains . . . For I feel that the best is none too good for the public that pays to hear a singer.