City of Columbia Unveils Tennessee Music Pathways Marker for Lillie Mae Glover

Photos from City of Columbia

The City of Columbia, in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, unveiled the Tennessee Music Pathways Marker for Lille Mae Glover on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. The marker is located on the corner of 8th St./Woodland St.

The Tennessee Music Pathways Marker Program is an initiative led by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to recognize musical legends across the state.

History of Lille Mae Glover
Vaudeville blues singer Lillie Mae Glover, often known professionally as Big Memphis Ma Rainey or Baby Ma Rainey, was born the daughter of a preacher in Columbia on Sept. 7, 1906. She grew up in Nashville singing with her family, moving at 14 to join a traveling medicine show. Glover claimed to have opened for Ma Rainey (one of the first recorded blues singers, known as the “Mother of the Blues”) at the Frolic Theatre in Birmingham around 1925. In 1928, she settled in Memphis where she played local clubs. According to her account, she nurtured up-and-coming artists including B.B. King and Bobby Bland. In 1953, Glover recorded two songs for Sun Records, “Call Me Anything (But Call Me)” and “Baby, No, No!” She predated Elvis Presley’s debut by 14 months. In the mid-1970s, Glover was booked on the Memphis Blues Caravan. She made regular appearances at Blues Alley on Memphis’ Front Street, interspersing her songs with stories.

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