Bessie Smith (1894 - 1937)

Bessie Smith was orphaned since young and she lived in poverty in her early childhood. She later became one of the most popular and greatest female Amercian blues singers of her era. She was a major influence on the subsequent jazz singers.

She was taught by Ma Rainey, hence her early was very much influenced by Rainey. Smith travelled extensively throughout the south of American to perform and make records. She recorded around 170 songs between
1920s and 1930s.

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Bessie Smith was orphaned since young and she lived in poverty in her early childhood. She later became one of the most popular and greatest female Amercian blues singers of her era. She is a major influence on the subsequent jazz singers.

She was taught by Ma Rainey, hence her early was very much influenced by Rainey. Smith travelled extensively throughout the south of American to perform and make records. She recorded around 170 songs between
1920s and 1930s.

Her famous hits
include "Nobody Knows When You're Down and Out" and “Downhearted Blues.” She also recorded with some popular jazz figures include Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins.

In 1929, Bessie Smith also appeared in the movie St Louis Blues. She recorded the title song in a music ambience that is unusual to her other recordings. It was in collaboration with members of Fletcher Henderson’s orchestra, the Hall Johnson choir, a string section and a pianist.

~Written by Boon Sin Ler
 

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