Category Archives: Bessie Smith

Blues Masters from the Delta (Blues Stories, 21)

 A Review of Ted Gioia, Delta Blues: The Life and Times of the Mississippi Masters Who Revolutionized American Music. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008. [NOTE: Once upon a time,  I hoped to write a book on the origins … Continue reading

Posted in "Charley Patton", Age of Jim Crow, Alan Lomax, American History, B.B. King, Bessie Smith, Books, Chicago Blues, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Delta Blues, History, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Popular Culture, Retirement, Robert Johnson, Son House, Southern History, The "Great Migration", The Blues, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Early Blues Divas (Blues Stories, 19)

[NOTE:  A different take on an earlier post, “20th –Century Blues Women,” this time emphasizing the decade of the 1920s.] * * * * * 2003 was designated by Congress as “The Year of the Blues” to commemorate W.C. Handy’s first encounter with that music, … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Blues Women, Books, Chicago Blues, Historical Reflection, History, Interdisciplinary Work, Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Memphis Minnie, Popular Culture, Research, Retirement, Sippie Wallace and Bonnie Raitt, Southern History, Teaching, The Blues, Uncategorized, WP Long Form, WP Long Read | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

20th-Century Blues Women (Blues Stories, 4)

A funny thing happened when I researched the role of women in developing the Blues in the twentieth century:  I found an alternative narrative that contained a few surprises.  For example, the year 2003 was designated by Congress as “The … Continue reading

Posted in American History, Bessie Smith, Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, Blues Women, Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Francine Reed, History, Ma Rainey, Mamie Smith, Memphis Minnie, Memphis Minnie, Ruth Brown, Sippie Wallace and Bonnie Raitt, Southern History, The Blues | 3 Comments