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Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an African American blues singer. Nicknamed the Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Bessie did not have an available education because her parents had died and her elder sister was taking care of her. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists.

Birth and Death Data: Born April 15th, 1894 (Chattanooga), Died September 26th, 1937 (Clarksdale)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1933

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, composer, lyricist, leader, songwriter

Recordings (Results 51-75 of 191 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 81881 10-in. 7/22/1924 Lou'siana low-down blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 81882 10-in. 7/22/1924 Mountain top blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 81883 10-in. 7/23/1924 Work house blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 81884 10-in. 7/23/1924 House rent blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 81893 10-in. 7/31/1924 Salt water blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 81907 10-in. 8/8/1924 Rainy weather blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140062 10-in. 9/26/1924 Weeping willow blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140063 10-in. 9/26/1924 The bye bye blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140161 10-in. 12/4/1924 Follow the deal on down Fred Longshaw ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano vocalist  
Columbia 140162 10-in. 12/4/1924 Sinful blues Fred Longshaw ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano vocalist  
Columbia 140165 10-in. 12/5/1924 Dying gambler's blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140166 10-in. 12/5/1924 Woman's trouble blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140167 10-in. 12/5/1924 Love me daddy blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140170 10-in. 12/12/1924 Sing Sing Prison blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140176 10-in. 12/13/1924 Dying gambler's blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140241 10-in. 1/14/1925 St. Louis blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and organ vocalist  
Columbia 140242 10-in. 1/14/1925 Reckless blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and organ vocalist  
Columbia 140249 10-in. 1/14/1925 Sobbin' hearted blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140250 10-in. 1/14/1925 Cold in hand blues Louis Armstrong ; Fred Longshaw ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano vocalist  
Columbia 140251 10-in. 1/14/1925 You've been a good ole wagon Louis Armstrong ; Fred Longshaw ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet and piano vocalist, songwriter  
Columbia W140585 10-in. 5/5/1925 Cake walking babies Fletcher Henderson’s Hot Six ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance ensemble vocalist  
Columbia W140586 10-in. 5/6/1925 The Yellow Dog blues Fletcher Henderson’s Hot Six ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with jazz/dance ensemble vocalist  
Columbia W140600 10-in. 5/14/1925 Ragtime dance Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with piano vocalist  
Columbia W140601 10-in. 5/14/1925 Soft pedal blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist, composer  
Columbia W140604 10-in. 5/15/1925 Careless love blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
(Results 51-75 of 191 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Smith, Bessie," accessed October 25, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104231.

Smith, Bessie. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104231.

"Smith, Bessie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 25 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104231

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