Bessie by Chris Albertson
Revised and expanded edition

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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.

About Chris Albertson

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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 programs
Published June 10, 2003 by Yale University Press. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction, Travel. Non-fiction

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Bessie Smith was not only the ""empress"" of those sorrowful blues — she was also a lot of woman, rude, irresponsible, passionate, generous, high living and sometimes fighting mad.

Jan 20 1972 | Read Full Review of Bessie: Revised and expanded ...

In 2005, jazz journalist Albertson revised and expanded his 1972 biography of Bessie Smith (1894–1937), adding depth and texture to what was already the definitive biography of the singer's life and work. He included more details of Smith's early years, new interview material, and a chapter devot...

Nov 15 2014 | Read Full Review of Bessie: Revised and expanded ...

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