I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music

Close-Up on Women in Old-Time Music

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Lottie Kimbrough

Image found on The Document Record Store


Jonesboro, Arkansas or Kansas City, Missouri

Date of Birth

1893 or 1900

Date of Death


Little is known about musician Lottie Kimbrough, though she appears on several compilation albums of important country blues artists of the early 20th century. Confusion over her story is compounded by her performing and recording under several names, including Lottie Beaman (her married name), Lottie Kimborough, Lena Kimbrough, Lottie Mitchell, Clara Cary, and Mae Moran! She was also known as “The Kansas City Butterball,” a nickname referencing her size.

Lottie was active in the 1920s, performing in nightclubs, speakeasies, and in vaudeville shows; she also recorded several sides with the Paramount, Merrit, Gennett, Champion, Supertone, and Superior labels. While she was a blues performer, several of her recordings include hallmarks of hillbilly music such as yodeling and banjo playing. She wrote “Rolling Log Blues,” which has been recorded by a number of later artists, including Jo Ann Kelly, Woody Mann, Son House, the Blues Band, Rory Block, Eric Bibb, Maria Muldaur, and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

Take a Listen

Select Discography

  • Lottie Kimbrough & Winston Holmes (1928–1929) (Wolf Records)
  • Lottie Beaman (Kimbrough) 1924/1926 and Luela Miller 1928 (Wolf Records)
  • Kansas City Blues 1924–1929 (Document Records)

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