Entertainment & Technology

Racy Ladies of 1920’s Blues

First up, Bessie Smith…

One of the truly great American blues singers, and although a big woman in size, not nearly as large as her reputation and her legend…we are speaking about the great Bessie Smith. Bessie was called the Empress of the Blues, and was without question the most popular female singer of the 1920’s and 30’s.

Like any true American Blues player, Bessie had her share of good times and of hard times. Born in 1894, by the time she was 27 she had a record deal with Columbia records. She was for the latter half of the twenties and into the early thirties one of the highest paid performers in the country.


Even with her great fame and fortune, when badly injured in an automobile accident in Clarksdale, Mississippi (September 26, 1937), she was left on the side of the road unattended because she was an African American woman — it was Mississippi in 1937. As a result of the delay, she passed away from her injuries, many of which could have been treated had she been taken promptly to the hospital.

Take a listen to “Sugar Bowl”…

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