Image Source: Wikipedia

Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an African-American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age. Nicknamed the "Empress of the Blues", she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1930s. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, 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.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Smith was young when her parents died, and she and her six siblings survived by performing on street corners. She began touring and performed in a group that included Ma Rainey, and then went out on her own. Her successful recording career with Columbia Records began in 1923, but her performing career was cut short by a car crash that killed her at the age of 43.

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

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1933

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

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

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 songwriter, vocalist  
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 April 12, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104231.

Smith, Bessie. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 12, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104231.

"Smith, Bessie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 12 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

Wikipedia content provided under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-SA license

Feedback

Send the Editors a message about this record.