The Vera Hall Project and Songs by Vera Hall September 17, 2005 9:31 PMSubscribe
Vera Hall was a black woman born near Livingston, Alabama at the turn of the century. She grew up in a supportive family and community, but in difficult, poor rural living conditions. At a young age, Hall became a respected and devout member of the church, and remained so for the rest of her years. But after leaving home, she also fell in with more worldly crowd, for whom blues, craps, and alcohol were the entertainments of choice. The tension between these two spheres-- that of spirituals and the church, on one hand, and that of blues and the juke-joint, on the other-- is a theme that recurred throughout her life and infused her music. She drew upon both perspectives to cope with and overcome her life's perennial difficulties; sadly, it was dotted with tragedy: she lost both parents, a sister, a husband, a daughter, and two grandchildren-- all before she herself passed away in 1964 at the age of 58.