Blues Queen

Blues Queen

by Bessie Smith


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Blues Queen

Bessie Smith's passionate vocals overrode the primitive recording technology of her era and made her the zenith of female blues singers from the 1920s and '30s. This collection takes a quick survey of her career over two-dozen tracks recorded between 1923 and 1933 in New York in sessions with such jazz icons as Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Pee Wee Russell, and Fletcher Henderson, including her seminal 1925 version of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." An exercise in simplicity, Smith's version of the song features only her voice, Armstrong's answering cornet, and Fred Longshaw on a wheezing reed organ. The end result is one of the greatest performances in pop history. Also featured here is Smith's breakthrough side "Downhearted Blues," plus wonderful takes on "Careless Love Blues" and "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out," all of which show what this one of a kind and larger than life singer could do with a song.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/15/2011
Label: Phoenix Spain
UPC: 8436539310617
catalogNumber: 3931061
Rank: 256427

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bessie Smith   Primary Artist,Vocals
Buster Bailey   Clarinet
Chu Berry   Tenor Saxophone
Benny Goodman   Clarinet
Jack Teagarden   Trombone
Frankie Newton   Trumpet
Coleman Hawkins   Tenor Saxophone
Ed Allen   Cornet
Louis Armstrong   Cornet
George Baquet   Clarinet
Garvin Bushell   Alto Saxophone
Charlie Dixon   Banjo
Fletcher Henderson   Piano
Porter Grainger   Piano
Jimmy Harrison   Trombone
Jimmy Jones   Piano
Fred Longshaw   Piano
Cyrus St. Clair   Tuba
Greely Walton   Tenor Saxophone
Buck Washington   Piano
Clarence Williams   Piano
Charlie Green   Trombone
Bob Escudero   Tuba
Billy Taylor   Bass
Bobby Johnson   Guitar
Lincoln M. Conaway   Guitar
Joe Smith   Cornet
Steve Stevens   Piano

Technical Credits

Alberta Hunter   Composer
Bessie Smith   Composer
Ida Cox   Composer
Perry Bradford   Composer
W.C. Handy   Composer
Lovie Austin   Composer
J.C. Johnson   Composer
Fred Longshaw   Composer
Roy Turk   Composer
Clarence Williams   Composer
Wesley Wilson   Composer
Gus Horsley   Composer
Lou Handman   Composer
Leo Wood   Composer
Henry Troy   Composer
Hazel Cole   Composer
Jack Gee   Composer
Chris Smith   Composer
Stuart Balcom   Composer
Charles Boldt   Liner Notes
Jordi Diaz   Collaboration
Paul Carter   Composer
Philip Hays   Cover Illustration

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