- George C. Wolfe
- United States
On July 2, 1927, Ma Rainey is a highly regarded, strong willed blues singer who has recently been contracted by white producers. A recording session for songs by Ma is scheduled by her manager Irvin to take place at Paramount recording studios in Chicago. Seasoned Georgia Jazz Band members Toledo, Cutler, and Slow Drag arrive on time without Ma, frustrating her producer, Mel Sturdyvant. They are soon joined by Levee Green, the band’s overconfident trumpeter who has shown Sturdyvant his original compositions in the hopes of breaking away from Ma and getting his own record deal. The rest of the band disapproves of this.