Queen of the Blues Volume 1

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
As evidenced by the five double-disc sets issued by Columbia at the end of the last century, Bessie Smith was at the very least prolific. From the beginning of her series of recordings for the label in 1923, she recorded and toured almost incessantly until her death in an automobile accident in 1937. England's JSP issues its first volume in a projected two-volume series that places her first 90 sides -- master takes only -- on four fine sounding CDs. There are decent notes in each volume documenting her rise to fame, from 1923's "Downhearted Blues" b/w "Gulf Coast Blues" until she became the undisputed queen, perhaps even Empress, of the genre in 1926 with the hits "Hard ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
As evidenced by the five double-disc sets issued by Columbia at the end of the last century, Bessie Smith was at the very least prolific. From the beginning of her series of recordings for the label in 1923, she recorded and toured almost incessantly until her death in an automobile accident in 1937. England's JSP issues its first volume in a projected two-volume series that places her first 90 sides -- master takes only -- on four fine sounding CDs. There are decent notes in each volume documenting her rise to fame, from 1923's "Downhearted Blues" b/w "Gulf Coast Blues" until she became the undisputed queen, perhaps even Empress, of the genre in 1926 with the hits "Hard Time Blues" and "Honey Man Blues." The liners detail the inclusion of many famous sidemen from Fletcher Henderson (who replaced her first pianist, and manager, Clarence Williams) and clarinet boss Don Redman, cornettist Joe "Fox" Smith, trombone player Charlie Green, and Elmer Snowden on banjo on "Nobody's Blues But Mine" and "I Ain't Got Nobody." Even the great Louis Armstrong appeared with Smith during the years 1924 and 1925, when her bands were just a tad bigger. The amazing thing as one listens to these sides is that Smith's voice is stronger than all these instruments combined. Given that her voice was such a force of nature, it's a wonder that Columbia booked her sessions with such illustrious talents in the first place -- Armstrong, Henderson, and Redman -- as well as Buster Bailey were already established artists. Of the 90 cuts here, all are worth hearing, even though some performances, understandably, are better than others. Suffice to say that these sides are actually a better investment that the Columbia sides simply because they cost about half as much and there are only a pair of sets as opposed to five. At this price it's worth investing just for the curious. That said, however, one cannot place these liner notes in the same category with the ones on Columbia's set, which are superior in every way, but there is enough information here to get started at the very least, and all the sessions are detailed as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2007
  • Label: Jsp Records
  • UPC: 788065902926
  • Catalog Number: 929
  • Sales rank: 153,850

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Downhearted Blues (3:21)
  2. 2 Gulf Coast Blues (3:00)
  3. 3 Aggravatin' Papa (3:11)
  4. 4 Beale Street Mama (3:27)
  5. 5 Baby Won't You Please Come Home (2:53)
  6. 6 Oh Daddy Blues (3:01)
  7. 7 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do (3:21)
  8. 8 Keeps on Rainin' (3:02)
  9. 9 Mama's Got the Blues (2:54)
  10. 10 Outside of That (3:25)
  11. 11 Bleeding Hearted Blues (3:04)
  12. 12 Lady Luck Blues, Pt. 3 (3:02)
  13. 13 Yodelin' Blues, Pt. 3 (3:06)
  14. 14 Midnight Blues, Pt. 3 (3:09)
  15. 15 If You Don't I Know Who Will (3:26)
  16. 16 Nobody in Town Can Bake a Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine (3:21)
  17. 17 Jail House Blues (3:14)
  18. 18 St Louis Gal, Pt. 3 (3:24)
  19. 19 Sam Jones Blues (2:48)
  20. 20 Graveyard Dream Blues (2:45)
  21. 21 Cemetary Blues (3:33)
  22. 22 Far Away Blues (2:55)
  23. 23 I'm Going Back to My Used to Be (2:48)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Whoa Tillie Take Your Time (3:10)
  2. 2 My Sweetie Went Away (3:13)
  3. 3 Any Woman's Blues (3:19)
  4. 4 Chicago Bound Blues (3:07)
  5. 5 Mistreatin' Daddy (3:08)
  6. 6 Frosty Mornin' Blues, Pt. 4 (3:17)
  7. 7 Haunted House Blues (3:14)
  8. 8 Eavesdroppers Blues (2:57)
  9. 9 Easy Come Easy Go Blues (3:10)
  10. 10 Pinchbacks/Take 'Em Away (3:18)
  11. 11 Rockin' Chair Blues (3:17)
  12. 12 Ticket Agent Ease Your Window Down (3:26)
  13. 13 Bo Weavil Blues (2:53)
  14. 14 Hateful Blues (3:09)
  15. 15 Frankie Blues (3:32)
  16. 16 Moonshine Blues (3:18)
  17. 17 Louisiana Low Down Blues (3:24)
  18. 18 Mountain Top Blues (3:13)
  19. 19 Work House Blues (3:23)
  20. 20 House Rent Blues (3:09)
  21. 21 Salt Water Blues (3:27)
  22. 22 Rainy Weather Blues (3:37)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Weeping Willow Blues (3:11)
  2. 2 The Bye Bye Blues (3:16)
  3. 3 Sing Sing Prision Blues (3:03)
  4. 4 Follow the Deal on Down (3:16)
  5. 5 Sinful Blues (3:09)
  6. 6 Woman's Trouble Blues (3:01)
  7. 7 Love Me Daddy Blues (3:10)
  8. 8 Dyin' Gambler Blues (2:55)
  9. 9 The St Louis Blues (3:08)
  10. 10 Reckless Blues (2:59)
  11. 11 Sobbin' Hearted Blues (3:00)
  12. 12 Cold in Hand Blues (3:10)
  13. 13 You've Been a Good Old Wagon (3:23)
  14. 14 Cake Walkin' Babies from Home (3:09)
  15. 15 The Yellow Dog Blues, Pt. 1 (3:06)
  16. 16 Soft Pedal, Pt. 1 (3:15)
  17. 17 Dixie Flyer Blues (3:09)
  18. 18 Nashville Women's Blues, Pt. 2 (3:37)
  19. 19 Careless Love, Pt. 1 (3:25)
  20. 20 J.C. Holmes Blues (3:05)
  21. 21 I Ain't Going to Play Second Fiddle (3:22)
  22. 22 He's Gone Blues (3:09)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Nobody's Blues But Mine (2:58)
  2. 2 I Ain't Got Nobody (3:05)
  3. 3 My Man Blues (3:29)
  4. 4 New Gulf Coast Blues (3:28)
  5. 5 Florida Bound Blues (3:22)
  6. 6 At the Christmas Ball (3:28)
  7. 7 I've Been Mistreated and I Don't Like It (2:59)
  8. 8 Red Mountain Blues (3:15)
  9. 9 Golden Rule Blues (3:06)
  10. 10 Lonesome Desert Blues (3:27)
  11. 11 Squeeze Me (3:24)
  12. 12 Them Has Been Blues (3:25)
  13. 13 Squeeze Me (2:53)
  14. 14 What's the Matter Now? (2:47)
  15. 15 I Want Every Bit (2:42)
  16. 16 Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town (3:16)
  17. 17 The Gin House Blues (3:24)
  18. 18 Money Blues (3:18)
  19. 19 Baby Doll (3:07)
  20. 20 Hard Drivin' Papa (3:04)
  21. 21 Lost Your Head Blues (3:00)
  22. 22 Hard Times Blues (3:05)
  23. 23 Honey Man Blues (3:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Bessie Smith Primary Artist, Vocals
Fletcher Henderson Piano
Clarence Williams Piano
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Customer Reviews

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