Little is known of her early life until 1923, when she changed her name to Bessie Jackson and made her first recording of vaudeville songs for the Okeh Label in New York. Later, Bogan would move to Chicago and record her best known underground hit "Shave 'Em Dry," which to this day, sits comfortably as the most raunchiest songs I have ever heard - Good Golly, Ms. Molly!
Reared musically in the more rowdier speak-easies and juke-joints of the era, much of Bogan's sounds were infused with heavy themes and sexual references such as prostitution, lesbianism and alcoholism. Today, there are very few original copies of Bogan's songs available, as much of her music was banished to the underground blues circuit. However, collections of her songs are available via Amazon, Youtube and a few other retro-music sites.
Anyway, Bogan always comes to mind whenever I hear old heads - and some young old heads - spout off about today's music. Bogan's provocative style should serve as a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun. And while we may question the appropriateness of today's sexual-induced rap starlets such as Nicki Minaj and Lil' Kim, there is strong possibility that our grandmothers and great-grandmothers were "getting it in" much like Lucille Bogan.