Trixie Smith was a black blues singer born in 1895 in Atlanta, Georgia. Smith was a college educated woman who came from a middle class background and worked in various minstrel shows and the vaudeville circuit in the 1920s. She had numerous hit records and recorded over 48 songs during the 1920s through the 1930s. The most popular blues artists of this period were surprisingly African American females. These famous female artists included Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Lil’ Bogan and many others.
In 1928, Trixie Smith recorded the song “You’ve Got to Beat Me to Keep Me,” which focused on a fictitious woman in an abusive relationship. However, this woman seems to enjoy the abuse. Although this song can offend some, it does represent the fact that dysfunctional relationships and domestic violence were confronted by female artists decades ago.
The song can be heard below: