Bessie Smith Vinyl Records Lps For Sale

Check out these new and used Bessie Smith Bessie Smith vinyl records LPs for sale. Bessie Smith, a.k.a. Empress of the Blues, was one of the most well-known blues singers from 1925-1940 and a large influence on other singers from that era. She grew up in poverty and was discovered in 1919 by another great blues vocalist named Ma Rainey. Bessie recorded her first album in 1923 which included the hit Down Hearted Blues which sold over 2 million copies. She played with some of the most important musicians of the time including Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong, and her music often covered topics such as poverty, oppression, and unrequited love. We recommend the essential album In Hi-Fi: The Legend of Bessie Smith. Our inventory is constantly changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl from blues musicians.

Bessie Smith Vinyl Lp

Bessie Smith: Empress of the Blues

Bessie Smith, born on April 15, 1894, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was a towering figure in the history of American music. She is often referred to as the “Empress of the Blues” and remains an iconic figure in the world of blues and jazz. Bessie Smith’s remarkable talent, commanding presence, and poignant lyrics left an indelible mark on the music landscape and a lasting legacy that continues to resonate today.

Early Life and Beginnings

Bessie Smith’s early life was marked by the hardships of growing up in the South during the era of segregation. She came from a large, impoverished family and began her singing career as a child, performing on the streets of Chattanooga. Her exceptional voice and natural talent caught the attention of traveling minstrel shows, and she soon joined the Moses Stokes Company, which provided her first opportunity to perform on stage.

Recording Career and Breakthrough

Bessie Smith’s recording career began in the 1920s when she signed with Columbia Records. Her very first recording, “Downhearted Blues” (1923), became a monumental success, selling over 800,000 copies in its first six months. This recording marked the beginning of a prolific career in which she became one of the most influential vocalists of her time.

The Empress of the Blues

Bessie Smith’s nickname, the “Empress of the Blues,” was not merely a title but a testament to her unmatched vocal abilities and stage presence. Her voice was powerful, emotional, and full of raw intensity. Smith’s commanding performances earned her a devoted following and a place of reverence in the blues world.

Signature Songs and Lyrics

Smith’s extensive discography includes many enduring classics, such as “St. Louis Blues,” “Backwater Blues,” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” Her songs often delved into themes of heartbreak, hardship, and resilience. Her ability to convey deep emotions through her music resonated with a broad audience, making her a voice for the marginalized and dispossessed.

Influence and Impact

Bessie Smith’s influence on the world of music is immeasurable. Her expressive, soulful singing style paved the way for generations of vocalists who followed. She was a trailblazer who transcended the constraints of her era, breaking down racial barriers in the music industry. Her recordings were not only popular in the African American community but also found a broad and diverse audience.

Collaborations and Connections

Smith’s collaborations with influential artists of her time added to her stature. She worked with renowned musicians like Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, and her contributions to jazz and blues played a pivotal role in shaping the development of these genres.

Decline and Resurgence

The advent of the Great Depression marked a decline in the popularity of the blues, and Bessie Smith’s career faced challenges during this period. However, she made a brief but successful comeback in the 1930s, recording new material and performing in venues across the United States.

Tragic End and Legacy

Bessie Smith’s life was tragically cut short in a car accident on September 26, 1937. Her death at the age of 43 marked the loss of a truly singular talent. Her influence, however, lived on. Smith’s music continued to inspire artists in subsequent generations, from Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin to contemporary blues and jazz vocalists. Her legacy is celebrated for her groundbreaking contributions to American music and her pioneering spirit.

Conclusion

Bessie Smith’s legacy as the “Empress of the Blues” endures as a testament to her incredible vocal talent, her powerful storytelling, and her trailblazing impact on the world of music. She overcame adversity and became a towering figure in the history of American music, leaving an indelible mark on the blues and jazz genres. Her influence continues to inspire and resonate with musicians and music enthusiasts across the globe, ensuring that the Empress of the Blues will reign eternally in the hearts of those who appreciate her timeless artistry.

Bessie Smith COLUMBIA 14179 E

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COLUMBIA 14195 78 rpm BESSIE SMITH pre-war jazz/blues VV+

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6 Vinyl Records Pointer Sisters Bessie Smith Etc

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COLUMBIA 14023 78 rpm BESSIE SMITH pre-war blues/jazz V+

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Bessie Smith and Her Blue Boys CLUMBIA 14172 V+

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BLUES BESSIE SMITH UCHA (mx) BABY DOLL/Young Woman Blues E+

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10" record JAZZ music BESSIE SMITH baby doll COLUMBIA lost head blues SHELLAC #1

$5.55  
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