From the Vault: Bessie Smith Tribute 1976

This week we feature a program preserved thanks to a grant from the NHPRC at the National Archives as part of American Women making history and culture 1963-1982.

From November of 1976, and a series called Focus on Women Composers, we’ll hear a program about blues singer Bessie Smith (1894 – 1937), with many examples of her music and readings from three texts about Smith.

Presented by Fleur Helsingor and Jane Ayres. Produced by Renee Roatcap.
The Playlist is

1. Gulf Coast Blues; 2. Aggravatin’ Papa;
3. Program intro and first reading by Helsingor about Bessie Smith;
4. Frankie Blues; 5. Moonshine Blues;
6. Empty Bed Blues; 7. Put it Right Here;
8. Second reading from Chris Albertson’s biography of Smith, “Bessie” (Stein & Day, 1972);
9. Please Help Me; 10. Me and My Gin;
11. Moan You Mourners; 12. Third reading from a Jazz Record magazine article about Bessie Smith from September 1947; Shipwreck Blues;
13. Third reading; 14. Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer;
15. Take Me for a Buggy Ride; 16. Down in the Dumps;
17. Program outro. 18. Ballad of Bessie Smith.
19. Outro music is Bessie Smith’s Blue’s Blues

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