Gemini Roll Call heralds today one of the most forgotten influences in the transition years from Blues to Soul that happened between the 1940s and the 1960s. Born 92 years ago today, the persona Mildred Cummings crafted as Little Miss Cornshucks marveled and comforted the masses of the Great Migration starting in the 1940s and into the early 1950s.
Her stage show combination of Country Bumpkin innocence, vocal prowess and power and spectacular song interpretation had an effect on legions of soul singers. Notably La Vern Baker crafted her initial stage persona after Cummings, labeling herself Little Miss Sharecropper during her early years.
Typical to the trials of being a mother, a money maker and a minority, Cummings faced a series of uphill battles to keep her career moving forward through the 1950s, and went into semi-retirement. She was drawn out one more time in 1961 to record a gorgeous LP for Chess records that came and went without notice.
Today we feature the re-recording from the LP of her signature song “So Long.” To all of her pioneering work in providing such an enriched narrative of the Great Migration from the emotional standpoint, we remember Mildred Cummings on her birthday.