May Alix

The use of pseudonyms was widespread on blues recordings and has caused much confusion among just about everyone associated with the genre, from fans wondering who it is they are actually listening to, to record companies wondering who it was that actually cashed the royalty checks. The case of May Alix (sometimes known as Mae Alix) seems unique, standing out from the messy trail of surreptitious recordings because while there really was a May Alix, the famous jazz and blues singer Alberta Hunter made use of the name May Alix as well, to get around exclusive recording contracts. This was done with the real Alix's permission, and wondering about how such a request might be worded is fun: "May I be May?" The two singers were friends, and Hunter has indicated that she had a second motivation for using the name besides the one already mentioned, being of the opinion that the little trick would actually bring her singing buddy May Alix further career exposure.