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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Can't Make Another Day - Edith North Johnson

Edith North Johnson (January 2, 1903 – February 28, 1988) was an American classic female blues singer, pianist and songwriter. Her most noted tracks were "Honey Dripper Blues", "Can't Make Another Day" and "Eight Hour Woman". She wrote another of her songs, "Nickel's Worth of Liver Blues".
Born Edith North, in 1928 she married a local record producer, Jesse Johnson. She originally worked at her husband's Deluxe Music Store as a sales person. Although not a professional singer, between 1928 and 1929 Johnson recorded eighteen sides. She started on QRS Records in 1928, later switching to Paramount. Her output tally included those from a recording session in Grafton, Wisconsin, for the Paramount label with Charley Patton. Oddly, it is now reckoned that Patton did not play on any of her recordings.

During World War II, Johnson managed a taxicab operation in St. Louis, as well as later running Johnson's Deluxe CafÄ— after her husband's death in 1946. By 1961, she had returned to recording when Samuel Charters tracked her down. She was accompanied by Henry Brown on Charters' set entitled, The Blues in St. Louis. It was released by Folkways.

Using pseudonyms such as Hattie North (on Vocalion) and Maybelle Allen, Johnson also earlier waxed additional tracks for other small labels. Under the Hattie North name, she recorded "Lovin' That Man Blues" with Count Basie.

Her recording of "Honey Dripper Blues" was the inspiration for the nickname used by Roosevelt Sykes. In her later life, Johnson spent time undertaking social work in her hometown.

Johnson died in St. Louis in February 1988, at the age of 85
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