Ida Goodson (November 23, 1909 – January
5, 2000) was an American classic female blues and jazz singer plus pianist.
Goodson was born in Pensacola, Florida, the youngest of seven sisters, six
of whom survived to adulthood. Her father and mother both played piano. Her
father was deacon at Pensacola's Mount Olive Baptist Church.
All of the daughters received tuition in music, with the sole intention of
them performing in church. Indeed, Goodson noted that the blues were banned
in her house. However, Ida, Mabel, Della, Sadie, Edna, and Wilhemina (more
commonly known as Billie Pierce), all subsequently had careers in either
blues or jazz. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band often had one of the Goodson
sisters playing keyboards. Goodson herself played the piano for
accompaniment to silent films and at dances.
The Florida Folk Archive released a recording taken at the Florida Folk
Festival in 1980, comprising a duet between Ida and Sadie Goodson. She
received a Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1987.
In 2002 a stage show, The Goodson Sisters: Pensacola's Greatest Gift to
Jazz, focused on Ida, Wilhemia, and Sadie Goodson. The Wild Women Don't Have
the Blues PBS video included rare footage of Bessie Smith and her one-time
accompanist, Goodson. Music journalist Chris Heim stated in the Chicago
Tribune; 'Sprightly blues and gospel performer Ida Goodson - the scene
stealer of the film - gives a stunning exhibition of the intimate connection
between gospel and blues when she takes the song 'Precious Lord' from a
rich, slow gospel opening to a rollicking boogie-woogie conclusion.'
In her senior years, Goodson played organ at several churches in Pensacola.
An album was released by the Florida Folklife Program, Ida Goodson:
Pensacola Piano—Florida Gulf Blues, Jazz, and Gospel.