Roberta Louise Osborn

b. July 26th, 1917 in Indianapolis (Indiana)

d. December 25th, 2014 in Dearborn (Michigan)

T.J. FOWLER & HIS ROCKIN' JUMP BAND

Savoy

July 1952

Elle nait à Indianapolis mais grandit à Detroit avec sa tante. Quittant le foyer familial à 14 ans, elle danse et chante dans les clubs d'Hastings Street parfois aux côtés de John Lee Hooker, Eddie Kirkland ou Big Maceo. Elle tourne pendant cinq ans avec Louis Jordan. Malgré une intense activité dans les clubs, Alberta enregistre très peu. Elle grave "Say baby say" son premier morceau chanté au sein de l'orchestre de T.J. Fowler pour le label Savoy.

She was born in Indianapolis but grew up in Detroit with her aunt. Leaving the family home at age 14, she dances and sings in Hastings Street clubs sometimes alongside John Lee Hooker, Eddie Kirkland or Big Maceo. She tours for five years with Louis Jordan. Despite an intense club activity, Alberta has very little record. She sings "Say baby say" her first song sung in T.J. Fowler's orchestra for the Savoy label.

CHESS BLUES

MCA - Chess

THE BLUES vol.6

MCA - Chess

July 1953

Repérée par les frères Phil & Leonard Chess, elle grave quelques titres comme "Remember" entre slow blues et R&B et le superbe blues "Messin' around with the blues". Malheureusement, cette collaboration restera sans lendemain. Alberta grave - quelques années plus tard - un simple pour le label Thelma (dirigé par Coleman Hazel & Thelma Gordy, première femme du producteur Berry Gordy).

Spotted by brothers Phil & Leonard Chess, she cuts some tracks like "Remember" between slow blues and R&B and the beautiful blues "Messin' around with the blues". Unfortunately, this collaboration will be short-lived. Alberta records - a few years later - a single for Thelma label (directed by Coleman Hazel & Thelma Gordy, producer Berry Gordy's first wife).

BLUES FROM THE HEART vol.3

WCSAC

April 1997

Concert organisé par la Wayne County Society for Autistic Citizens. Alberta inteprète le jazzy "Messin' around with the blues".

Concert organized by the Wayne County Society for Autistic Citizens. Alberta plays the jazzy "Messin' around with the blues".

BLUES ACROSS AMERICA : THE DETROIT SCENE

Cannonball

1997

BORN WITH THE BLUES

Cannonball

1999

Excellemment produit par Ron Levy sur le label Cannonball avec les meilleurs musiciens de Detroit : Johnnie Bassett, Bill Heid, Keith Kaminski, R.J. Spangler. Malgré ses 82 ans au moment de l'enregistrement, Albert est impeccable au chant. Le répertoire est varié entre Rhythm & Blues cuivré et Jazz-Blues. Alberta et ses musiciens brillent notamment sur "Blues mood", "Pair and a spare", "Born with the blues", "Messin' around with the blues", "Half a man".

Greatly produced by Ron Levy on Cannonball label with the best Detroit musicians : Johnnie Bassett, Bill Heid, Keith Kaminski, R.J. Spangler. Despite her 82 years at the time of recording, Albert is impeccable on singing. The repertoire is varied between brassy Rhythm & Blues and Jazz-Blues. Alberta and her musicians shine on "Blues mood", "Pair and a spare", "Born with the blues", "Messin' around with the blues", "Half a man".

UNCUT DETROIT II

Venture

October 1999

Concert organisé au bénéfice de la radio WHFR. Alberta chante deux morceaux dans cette sympathique sélection : "He may be your man" ainsi qu'une remarquable lecture de son "Remember me".

Concert organized for the benefit of WHFR radio. Alberta sings two songs in this nice selection : "He may be your man" and a remarkable reading of his "Remember me".

SAY BABY SAY

Cannonball

October 1999

Pour ce second album chez Cannonball, Alberta reconduit la même recette que dans "Born with the blues". Accompagnée remarquablement par Johnnie Bassett et son groupe, elle chante avec sensibilité même si sa voix est désormais plus limitée (elle a plus de 80 ans). La production est confiée à Bill Heid et R.J. Spangler. "No good man", "I want a man", "Sax man", "Don't worry me", "Everybody got their hand out" figurent parmi les meilleurs moments du disque.

For this second album at Cannonball, Alberta renews the same recipe as in "Born with the blues". Accompanied remarkably by Johnnie Bassett and his band, she sings sensitively even though her voice is now more limited (she is over 80). The production is entrusted to Bill Heid and R. J. Spangler. "No good man", "I want a man", "Sax man", "Don't worry me", "Everybody got their hand out" are among the best moments of the album.

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LIVE

Eastlawn

2001 ?

I'M ON THE MOVE

Eastlawn

July 2003

Premier album pour Eastlawn (un label de Detroit fondé par Frank Traum et R.J. Spangler). Accompagnée notamment par la guitare de Paul Carey, Keith Kaminski, R.J. Spangler, Alberta délivre un programme sympathique ("Mr Blues", "Remember me", "Your lovin'", "Leavin'") dans son style Jazz-Blues habituel même si sa voix demeure limitée maintenant.

First album for Eastlawn (a Detroit label founded by Frank Traum and R.J. Spangler). Accompanied in particular by Paul Carey's guitar, Keith Kaminski, RJ Spangler, Alberta delivers a nice program ("Mr Blues", "Remember me", "Your lovin'", "Leavin'") in her usual Jazz-Blues style even if her voice remains limited now.

DETROIT'S QUEEN OF THE BLUES (EP)

Eastlawn

2006

Quatre morceaux figurent dans cet EP : deux nouveaux bons morceaux ("Hello little boy", "Chains of love") et la réédition du simple Thelma de 1962 (avec l'endiablé "I got a feeling").

Four tracks are included in this EP : two new good songs ("Hello little boy", "Chains of love") and the reissue of the 1962 Thelma single (with the furious "I got a feeling").

DETROIT IS MY HOME

Eastlawn

2008

Dans cette superbe atmosphère jazzy bien produite, Alberta chante plutôt bien malgré une voix abimée. "Keep on keepin' on", "Tired of being alone", "Detroit is my home", "I'm on the move / Every day" sont des pistes bien plaisantes. Un disque qu'on devrait apprécier si on est prêt à oublier les limitations vocales d'Alberta. On note aussi les participations d'Ann Rabson au piano et des chanteuses Thornetta Davis et Cee Cee Collins.

In this beautiful well produced jazzy atmosphere, Alberta sings rather well despite a damaged voice. "Keep on keepin' on", "Tired of being alone", "Detroit is my home", "I'm on the move / Every day" are very pleasant tracks. A record that we should appreciate if we are ready to forget the vocal limitations of Alberta. There are also Ann Rabson's piano appearances and singers Thornetta Davis and Cee Cee Collins.