Beryl Bryden Biography (Wikipedia)
Beryl Audley Bryden (11 May 1920 – 14 July 1998) was an English jazz singer, who played with Chris Barber and Lonnie Donegan. Ella Fitzgerald once said of Bryden that she was "Britain's queen of the blues".
Bryden was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England. An ardent jazz fan she established a Nat Gonella fan club in her teens, before taking up the washboard and singing. Her vocal style was influenced by Bessie Smith but she avoided affectation of an American accent. She was a friend of Black Anna Hannant who ran the Jolly Butchers pub in Ber Street Norwich.
She sang with the Humphrey Lyttelton band and with Freddy Randall also with Mick Mulligan and George Melly at London jazz venues such as the Cook's Ferry Inn, Walthamstow. She became a supporter of visiting American jazz acts when the Musicians Union ban was lifted and befriended, amongst others, Buck Clayton, Louis Armstrong and Bud Freeman, with whom she recorded.
She joined the Chris Barber band on washboard, and played on the group's gold disc earning, "Rock Island Line" in 1955 with Lonnie Donegan on vocals. She later graduated to the Monty Sunshine jazz band, where she covered Bessie Smith ("Young Woman's Blues", "Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)") and long-term favourite "Coney Island Washboard Blues", which demonstrated her washboard technique.
Beryl Bryden Tracks