A biography of Bessie Smith, the great singer known as the "Empress of the Blues". Considered by many to be the greatest blues singer of all time, Bessie Smith was also a successful vaudeville entertainer who became the highest paid African-American performer of the roaring twenties. This 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. Chris Albertson seeks to write with insight and candour about the singer's personal life and her career, supplementing his historical research with dozens of interviews with her relatives, friends and associates, in particular Ruby Walker Smith, a niece by marriage who toured with Bessie for over a decade. For this edition he includes more details of Bessie's early years, new interview material, and a chapter devoted to events and responses that followed the original publication in 1971.
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Chris Albertson is the acknowledged authority on Bessie Smith. A long-time contributor to Stereo Review, Down Beat, Saturday Review, and other publications, he has written extensive liner notes for jazz and blues albums and has produced a wide array of recordings, radio, and television programmes.Review:
An inspiration for the Emmy Award-winning television movie Bessie (Outstanding Television Movie, 2015) (2015 Emmy Awards 2015-09-21)
Member of the 2012 Blues Hall of Fame, as awarded by the National Blues Foundation. (National Blues Foundation Blues Hall of Fame)
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