Ann Rabson Dies Aged 67, Founder of the Novelty Blues Group Sapphire - Uppity Blues Women
After a battle with cancer, pianist and vocalist of Sapphire - Uppity Blues Women trio, Ann Rabson dies at the age of 67.
Sapphire was founded by Rabson and her guitarist friend Gaye Adegbalola, who later brought in Andra Faye McIntosh. A blues group with a wide following not limited to just the blues crowd, Sapphire's music was a mix of casual feminism, traditional blues and comedic novelty ballads. During their 25 year run, which amicably ended in 2009, they graced the stage with Ray Charles, Willie Dixon and BB King to name but a few.
Rabson dedicated much of her life to music from a young age and pursued it as a career despite her parents trying to encourage her in more practical directions. "I always thought grown-ups played music," Rabson said. "I couldn't understand why people did anything else," She said, speaking to Fredericksburg.com. "All the other grown-ups I knew played music whenever they got a chance," Rabson said. "I just never quite understood why they even had jobs when they could play music."
Sapphire were signed to Alligator records and president Bruce Iglauer, also Sapphire's producer and a friend of Rabson made a statement describing the musician as a "delightful, smart and funny person." Adding, "We were blessed to have known her."
"Blues speaks to me directly," she said, the Washington Post reports. "It wasn't a choice. I was drawn to it naturally."