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Bessie Smith

(1894—1937) American blues singer

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Alberta Hunter

Alberta Hunter  

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Overview Page
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Music
(b. 1 April 1895; d. 17 October 1984), blues singer and composer whose career spanned seven decades.“I’ve got the world in a jug, the stopper’s in my hand,” are ...
Angela Brown

Angela Brown  

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Overview Page
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Music
B. 1953, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Brown began her musical career by singing gospel music in church and although she was aware of the blues she did not sing them until ...
Apollo Theatre

Apollo Theatre  

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A monument to black entertainment in the twentieth century, the Apollo in New York was built in 1913 when Harlem was a white immigrant neighbourhood. Reflecting changes in demographics, the ...
Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin  

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Music
(b. 1942), gospel, jazz, pop, and rhythm and blues singer.Aretha Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Her father, Rev. Clarence LaVaugh Franklin, was a gospel ...
August Wilson

August Wilson  

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Literature
(b. Pittsburgh, Pa., 27 April 1945)Poet turned playwright who leaped to fame with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984), the first in his heavily symbolic cycle of plays depicting the ...
Bessie Smith 1925-1933 (Bessie Smith album)

Bessie Smith 1925-1933 (Bessie Smith album)  

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Music
The self-styled ‘Empress of the Blues’, Bessie Smith was the music’s first great female performer. On a series of chronological CDs released by the European reissue label Nimbus, nearly the ...
Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday  

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Music
1915–1959)Black US jazz singer, often described as the greatest true jazz singer of all time.Born in Baltimore, she was called ‘Billie’ after a film star. Her father, Clarence Holiday (1900–37), ...
Billie Pierce

Billie Pierce  

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Music
B. Wilhemina Goodson, 8 June 1907, Marianna, Florida, USA, d. 29 September 1974. After working for many years as singer or pianist (or both) in obscure southern clubs (with a ...
Black And Tan

Black And Tan  

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Music
Directed by Dudley Murphy in 1929, who, in the same year, made St. Louis Blues with Bessie Smith, this early talkie short remains one of the few films to use ...
blues

blues  

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Overview Page
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Music
Slow jazz song of lamentation, generally for an unhappy love affair. Usually in groups of 12 bars, instead of 8 or 16, each stanza being 3 lines covering 4 bars of music. Tonality predominantly ...
Charlie Green

Charlie Green  

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Music
B. c. 1900, Omaha, Nebraska, USA, d. February 1936, New York City, New York, USA. After working tent shows in the early 20s, trombonist Charlie ‘Big’ Green joined Fletcher Henderson ...
Clara Smith

Clara Smith  

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Music
B. c.1894, Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, d. 2 February 1935. Singing professionally from her mid-teens in theatres and tent shows throughout the Deep South, by 1923 Smith was a big ...
Clarence Williams

Clarence Williams  

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Overview Page
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Music
B. 8 October 1893, Plaquemine, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 November 1965, New York City, New York, USA. Although Williams first made his mark as a pianist, singer and dancer, it ...
Colette Magny

Colette Magny  

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Music
B. 31 October 1926, Paris, France, d. 12 June 1997, Villefranche-de-Rouerge, France. Magny was one of the most striking and politicized of French singer-songwriters to emerge in the 60s. The ...
Complete Recordings Vol. 1 (Bessie Smith album)

Complete Recordings Vol. 1 (Bessie Smith album)  

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Music
This five-box reissue, two CDs per box, was part of the same series as Columbia’s complete reissue of the Robert Johnson recordings. Volume 1’s extensive essay by Chris Albertson attempts ...
Complete Recordings Vol. 2 (Bessie Smith album)

Complete Recordings Vol. 2 (Bessie Smith album)  

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Overview Page
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Music
In its most important and comprehensive blues reissue project since the label’s complete refurbishment of Robert Johnson’s recordings, Columbia Records unleashed the essential five-volume, 10-CD ...
Complete Recordings Vol. 3 (Bessie Smith album)

Complete Recordings Vol. 3 (Bessie Smith album)  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Volume 3 of Columbia’s five-box, ten-CD set found Bessie Smith at the height of her career as a touring artist, recording consistently with high-calibre pianists like Fletcher Henderson and stride ...
Complete Recordings Vol. 4 (Bessie Smith album)

Complete Recordings Vol. 4 (Bessie Smith album)  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Music
By the late 20s, Bessie Smith’s recordings had become much more well-rounded musical experiences than her first sides, which were essentially vocal recitals with minimal piano accompaniment. Smith ...
Complete Recordings Vol. 5: The Final Chapter (Bessie Smith album)

Complete Recordings Vol. 5: The Final Chapter (Bessie Smith album)  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Music
This final volume was possibly the most interesting to true blues historians. Its first disc contains not only Smith’s late swing-influenced recordings as well as blues classics like ‘Need Some ...
Connee Boswell

Connee Boswell  

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Overview Page
Subject:
Music
B. 3 December 1907, Kansas City, Missouri, USA, d. 11 October 1976, New York City, New York, USA. An outstanding singer with enormous but often uncredited influence, Boswell claimed to ...

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