"Empress of Blues”
Bessie Smith is known as one of the greatest female blues singers. She was among the first musicians to blend African and Western modes of music.
She was highly influenced with Ma Rainey and spent some time in t 1915 touring with her. She recorded on Columbia’s record label, which hosts a predominately male label and field of music. Her song “Downhearted blues” was recorded with Clarence Williams on the piano in 1923. It song was about loving someone that doesn’t reciprocate your love. Her first record sold 750,000 copies within the first six months, launching her into superstar status with the unprecedented record sales. She had a female voice of struggle that inspired others that came after her.
She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and ‘Downhearted Blues’ was included by the National Recording Preservation Board in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 songs to have shaped rock music.
Check out Bessie Smith's record 'Downhearted Blues' here: http://www.last.fm/music/Bessie+Smith/_/Down+Hearted+Blues
informational sources: www.rockhall.com/inductee/bessie-smith
Bessie Smith, Downhearted Blues, Columbia Record Label, 8.120660, Released: 1923.