Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith

by Alexandria Manera
     
 

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Some people believe that Bessie Smith is the greatest blues singer of all time. Her strong voice and popular songs have made her one of the most famous African Americans in history. This biography tell her story and how her perseverance and unique quali

Overview

Some people believe that Bessie Smith is the greatest blues singer of all time. Her strong voice and popular songs have made her one of the most famous African Americans in history. This biography tell her story and how her perseverance and unique quali

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Undoubtedly the greatest blues singer of all times, Bessie Smith was born about 1894 in Chattanooga and grew up in poverty. She was orphaned by the age of nine. She and her brother Andrew, as children, earned money as street musicians. At age 18 Bessie joined a minstrel show company and later toured with vaudeville troupes, attracting more and more fans with her powerful singing. Her songs reflected the hard times she had endured, as well as the joys and pains of love. In 1923 she won a recording contract with Columbia. Continuing to tour cities in both the North and South and make records, Smith became the highest paid African American entertainer of the era. When the Depression hit, however, and people no longer wanted to hear the blues, her career began to slip. She changed to pop and jazz music, but just as she was recovering her popularity, she was fatally injured in an automobile accident in 1937. In addition to the biographical material on Bessie Smith, the author comments on segregation, the Civil War and slavery, Langston Hughes and the Harlem Renaissance, Louis Armstrong and jazz, and Smith's legacy to singers Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. A glossary, timeline, list of sources of further information, and index are included. The illustrations are vintage black and white photographs. The series is "African-American Biographies." 2003, Raintree, Ages 9 to 12.
— Patricia Dole
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-These short biographies provide just enough detail for readers to get a real sense of these people, the times in which they lived, and the importance of their achievements. Each book is arranged in an easy-to-read format, with five- to seven-page chapters. Good-quality archival photographs depict the subjects and the events taking place during their lifetimes. Paragraphs are separated by extra line space; words in bold appear in the glossaries. Boxed sidebars offer excerpts from the subjects' writings, works, or words, or further details about a person or event mentioned in the body of the texts. Simple, clear, and objective overviews.-Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739868751
Publisher:
Heinemann Library
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Series:
African-American Biographies Series
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
8 - 10 Years

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