Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

by Kathleen Tracy

Hardcover(Library Binding)

Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


Known as the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Singing came naturally to Bessie and as a young girl she helped support her family as a street singer in Chattanooga, Tennessee. When she was seventeen Bessie joined a traveling show and worked her way up to the black vaudeville circuit. Her popularity led to a recording contract that eventually established her as the most successful black performing artist of her time, earning as many fans in the North as she had in the South. But for as gifted as she was a singer, Bessie was also troubled and difficult off stage. Alcohol abuse led to violent outbursts that alienated many friends and associates. After a brief career slump Bessie was on tour making a comeback when tragedy struck and she was killed in a car accident. Although her life was cut short, her impact on music lives on to this day.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612282718
Publisher: Mitchell Lane Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/15/2012
Series: Mitchell Lane Music History Series
Pages: 47
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Klan Encounter 5


Chapter 2

Born to Perform 11

Ma Rainey 15

Chapter 3

Empress of the Blues 17

The Jazz Blues 22

Chapter 4

The Depression Blues 25

John Hammond 28

Chapter 5

The Death of Bessie Smith 31

Clarksdale, Mississippi 37

Chronology 38

Discography 39

Chapter Notes 43

Further Reading 44

Books 44

Works Consulted 44

On the Internet 45

Glossary 46

Index 47

Customer Reviews