Bessie Smith

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Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith moved to Philadelphia and married Jack Gee. She got discovered by a guy from Colombia Records that made her first recordings. First track titled "Downhearted Blues" sold over 800,000 copies and put her into the blues spotlight.

By 1931, her carrer took a downfall due to finacial problems from the Great Depression and alcoholism. She divorced her husband and stopped working with Colombia Records. However, she still continued to tour during the 1930 hoping to regain her sucess in swing music. She died tragically at the young age of 43 while she was on her way to a preformance, she got into a terrible car crash and died from her wounds. Her music influenced many other female blues artists.

Bessie Smith

By Ali Logan hour 1






Bessie's rich and powerful voice made her into a succesful recording artist. She later preformed with blues legends such as saxophonist Sydney Bachet and pianists Fletcher Henderson. She also collaborated with Louis Armstrong, on several songs including " Cold in Hands Blues". She became the highest paid black artist of her day.

When she was 18 years old, she bagan prefoming as a singer and dancer at the Moses Stokes Minstrel show. Soon after she preformed at the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. where her coworkers gave her some proper training. Later, she preformed for many theaters.

Bessie Smith was born on April 15th, 1894 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She had 7 siblings, and her dad died shortly after her birth. Her mom and 2 brothers died a little later and was raised by her aunt.


Empress of the Blues

My reaction:I have listened to some of her music and i think she is amazing. I have never heard of her before but I have heard of Aretha Franklin. When I found out that she influenced Aretha to become a singer, I thought that was really cool. I also think that its sad that she was an alcoholic. It reminds me that it is hard in the spotlight and not everybody can handle it.

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