Bessie Smith

Biography

15 April 1894, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, d. 26 September 1937, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. In her childhood, Smith sang on street corners before joining a touring black minstrel show as a dancer. Also in the show was Ma Rainey, and before long the young newcomer was also singing the blues. The older woman encouraged Smith, despite the fact that even at this early stage in her career her powerful voice was clearly heralding a major talent that would one day surpass Rainey. By 1920 Smith was... Read more

Genres

Tags
blues
jazz
female vocalists
classic blues
jazz vocal
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