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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 126-150 of 191 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W144796 10-in. 9/27/1927 Mean old bed bug blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar and piano vocalist  
Columbia W144797 10-in. 9/27/1927 A good man is hard to find Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with guitar and piano vocalist  
Columbia W144800 10-in. 9/28/1927 Homeless blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W144801 10-in. 9/28/1927 Lookin' for my man blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone solo and piano vocalist  
Columbia W144918 10-in. 10/27/1927 Dyin' by the hour Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, piano, and tuba vocalist  
Columbia W144919 10-in. 10/27/1927 Foolish man blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, tuba, and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W145626 10-in. 2/9/1928 Thinking blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145627 10-in. 2/9/1928 Pickpocket blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W145628 10-in. 2/9/1928 I used to be your sweet mama Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145650 10-in. 2/16/1928 I'd rather be dead and buried in my grave Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145651 10-in. 2/16/1928 Hit me in the nose blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with 2 clarinets and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145670 10-in. 2/21/1928 Standin' in the rain blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W145671 10-in. 2/21/1928 It won't be you Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W145672 10-in. 2/21/1928 I'm a cheater Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with cornet, trombone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145783 10-in. 3/19/1928 Spider man blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet, alto saxophone, and piano vocalist, songwriter  
Columbia W145784 10-in. 3/19/1928 Tombstone blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet, alto saxophone, and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145785 10-in. 3/20/1928 Empty bed blues Porter Grainger ; Charlie Green ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145786 10-in. 3/20/1928 Empty bed blues Porter Grainger ; Charlie Green ; Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W145787 10-in. 3/20/1928 Put it right here (Or keep it out there) Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with trombone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146887 10-in. 8/24/1928 Yes indeed he do Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet or alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146888 10-in. 8/24/1928 Devil's gonna git you Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet or alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146889 10-in. 8/24/1928 You ought to be ashamed Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with clarinet or alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146893 10-in. 8/24/1928 Washwoman's blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146894 10-in. 8/24/1928 Slow and easy man Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with alto saxophone and piano vocalist  
Columbia W146895 10-in. 8/24/1928 Poor man's blues Bessie Smith Female vocal solo ("blues singer"), with instrumental trio vocalist, composer, lyricist  
(Results 126-150 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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