Bessie Smith

The Blues and Bessie Smith: Bessie and Her Contemporaries

Episode 2

Episode date - January 11, 2008

How Music Changed

    We continue our coverage of Bessie Smith by looking at her early life and discussing how her raw talent provided the impetus to make her the most famous of all blues singers, the ‘Empress’ of the Blues. It also covers the time period when the blues grew to become the most famous and commercially viable style of its time. For comparison’s sake we also listen to a few of her contemporaries, including Ma Rainey, Ida Cox and Eva Taylor.

    Here’s a list of songs featured in today’s program. All are by Bessie Smith unless indicated otherwise;

    My Sweetie Went Away

    'Tain’t Nobody’s Business if I Do

    Weeping Willow Blues

    Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Ma Rainey

    Outside of That

    Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues – Ida Cox

    West End Blues – Eva Taylor

    Cemetery Blues

    Sinful Blues

    You’ve Been a Good Ole Wagon

    The St. Louis Blues


    Channel 10 - The Blues and Bessie Smith