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Meet Ann Rabson – Blues Player Extraordinaire (1945-2013)

By Rebecca Barnes

This year, I spoke about “Influential Women” in time for the opening of nominations for Prince William Living’s Influential Women Award. I thought I would share with you some of the influential women in my life. Meet Ann Rabson.  Ann was sassy and smart, talented and wise and always knew how to create a buzz.  A self-taught musician, Ann could sing, play the guitar and the piano.

Here are just a few highlights of her life:

  • She caught the blues bug at four years old from Big Bill Broonzy
  • She co-founded the popular blues group Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women and recorded several albums
  • She performed solo and recorded three albums
  • She was passionate about other blues performers and the Pinetop Perkins Foundation.

What I learned from Ann:

  • Whatever you do, do it with everything you’ve got
  • Music lets you tell a story – tell it
  • Don’t take any crap from anybody (you have a middle finger for a reason)
  • Live life to the fullest.

Click here to see my grandfather’s 90th birthday party, at which Ann entertained the family on my piano. Cut to minute 1:48 to see her performance.

She brought her mother Alice Rabson – who I wrote about previously:


Who are the influential women in your life?


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