Rosetta Reitz (1924-2008)

November 15th, 2008

“Louis Armstrong was a sideman on records in the ’20’s with singers like Sippie Wallace, Eva Taylor, Hociel Thomas, Virginia Liston and Margaret Johnson. These women’s records were made as their records. But when they come out now, they’re reissued as Louis Armstrong records, when actually he was not that important on them.”

That’s what feminist Rosetta Reitz told the New York Times in 1980 about a group of forgotten women, some of whom hired their own musicians, wrote their own songs, and produced their own shows. So, borrowing $10,000 from friends, Reitz resurrected these gals’ music and re-released it on a record label she called Rosetta Records.

Reitz passed away in New York City on Nov. 1. Her last name, wonderfully, is pronounced “rights.”

(The Villager)