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Morning Song – My Handy Man

February 21, 2017

Four years before this concert performance, Goldwater Memorial Hospital—where she’d worked 20 years as a nurse—forced Alberta Hunter to retire because (they thought) she’d reached the age of 70.

She was 82, having lied about her age (and her academic credentials) to get into nursing school after her mother’s death in 1957. Hunter wasn’t ready for retirement, so she restarted her singing career and enjoyed a remarkable renaissance.

Here she takes Eubie Blake’s sly, bawdy, blues song, “My Handyman” (Ethel Waters had a big hit with it over a half-century earlier), and imbues it with all the “I may have slowed down a little, but I’m not dead yet!” humor, seriousness and musical chops that befit a woman of her age.

My ice never gets a chance to melt away,
Cuz’ he sees that I get a nice fresh piece every day;
My man is such a handy man….

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From → Music

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