Bessie Smith, the great singer known as the "Empress of the Blues", is considered by many to be the greatest blues singer of all time. She was also a successful vaudeville entertainer who became the highest-paid African American performer of the Roaring '20s. Chris Albertson's revised and expanded edition of the biography of this extraordinary artist debunks many of the myths that have circulated since her untimely death in 1937. Albertson writes with insight and candor about the singer's personal life and her career, supplementing his historical research with dozens of interviews with her relatives, friends, and associates, including Ruby Walker Smith, a niece by marriage who toured with Bessie for over a decade.
©2003 Chris Albertson (P)2014 Tantor
"The most devastating, provocative, and enlightening work of its kind ever contributed to the annals of jazz literature." ---Los Angeles Times
Historical Fiction is my thing. I love a good story. The historical facts helps me to reign Queen in my family while playing Jeopardy.
Good story, even though it reads as a school text book.
This is perfect for research into early American music, Blues, Jazz, and female poplar singers, African American and otherwise. Bessie gives you a good understanding about how the music business and race relations interacted during the 20s and 30s. I highly recommend this book as a reality check for myths and legends and their failure to deliver a better story than the truth.
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