Upload

Loading icon Loading...

This video is unavailable.

Bessie Smith - St. Louis Blues (1925)

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to like edmundusrex's video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to dislike edmundusrex's video.

Sign in to YouTube

Sign in with your Google Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to add edmundusrex's video to your playlist.

Uploaded on Dec 10, 2009

Bessie Smith (July 9,1892 or April 15,1894 - Sept.26,1937)

was Americas most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and '30s.

Smith is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era, and along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.

n 1920, sales figures for "Crazy Blues," an Okeh Records recording by singer Mamie Smith (no relation) pointed to a new market. The recording industry had not directed its product to blacks, but the success of the record led to a search for female blues singers. Bessie Smith was signed by Columbia Records in 1923 and her first session for Columbia was February 15, 1923. For most of 1923, her records were issued on Columbia's regular A- series; when the label decided to establish a "race records" series, Smith's "Cemetery Blues" was the first issued.

She scored a big hit with her first release, a coupling of "Gulf Coast Blues" and "Downhearted Blues," which its composer Alberta Hunter had already turned into a hit on the Paramount label. Smith became a headliner on the black T.O.B.A. circuit and rose to become its top attraction in the 1920s. Working a heavy theater schedule during the winter months and doing tent tours the rest of the year (eventually traveling in her own railroad car), Smith became the highest-paid black entertainer of her day. Columbia nicknamed her "Queen of the Blues", but a PR-minded press soon upgraded her title to "Empress".

She made some 160 recordings for Columbia, often accompanied by the finest musicians of the day, most notably Louis Armstrong, James P. Johnson, Joe Smith, Charlie Green, and Fletcher Henderson.


Bessie Smith - St. Louis Blues (1925)

  • Category

  • License

    Standard YouTube License

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Loading icon Loading...

Ratings have been disabled for this video.
Rating is available when the video has been rented.
This feature is not available right now. Please try again later.

Loading icon Loading...

Advertisement
Loading...
Working...
Sign in to add this to Watch Later

Add to