The Mississippi Matilda Biography

Mississippi Matilda biography

Photo credit: Carrie Powell for the Mississippi Matilda biography. All rights reserved.

Matilda Witherspoon Powell

Known as the Songstress Mississippi Matilda



“People talk about being a strong black woman. Well, you had to know my mother Matilda to understand what that means.”

~ Daughter Carrie Powell

Official Mississippi Matilda Biography

Mississippi Matilda was Eugene Powell’s partner on the stage, in the fields, and on the home front. No full account has been written about her remarkable life … until now.

Hard Working Woman: The Life and Legend of Mississippi Matilda is filled with never-before-published excerpts and photos from her life as a vocalist, wife, and loving mother in the Mississippi Delta. It’s told from family interviews and information provided by Matilda and Eugene Powell’s daughter, Carrie “Doll” Powell.

A Chapter that Became a Book

Mississippi Matilda Biography

Image credit: John Tetfeller. All rights reserved.

Initially, the authors included Matilda’s journey in Eugene Powell’s biography, Book One of the Riverside Blues Series. However, it quickly became obvious that Matilda’s true-life story was a manuscript in itself.  Her struggles are reflected through interviews with her children and Eugene Powell, himself.

The Mississippi Matilda biography adds an authentic voice to what it meant to be a black woman in the Deep South from 1914 to 1978. Her children and grandchildren, above anything else, became her true legacy.

Mississippi Matilda — Discography

They found church out there in the cotton fields. Yes, they found church out there. They used to sing hymns in the hot sun, and they would last so, so long. They would get on that hymn and they would hold that note for so long.

~ Daughter Carrie Powell

Mississippi Matilda had a discography of four 78’s recorded by the Bluebird label in 1936 — all female vocal solos with two guitars.

  • “A and V blues”
  • “Hard Working Woman”
  • “Happy Home Blues”
  • “Peel Your Banana”

Purchase the Mississippi Matilda biography along with the companion books in The Riverside Blues Series — they will publish shortly!