Tuesday, July 12, 2011
MUSIC TO READ BY. Bessie Smith
In his research of Bessie Smith, Chris Albertson found that Bessie's reputation as a hellion was not completely earned. Many times she had reason for her loud raucous behavior. For example, in the liner notes for the Essential Bessie Smith CD Albertson writes about an incident at the Apollo theatre when management refused to pay her for services rendered. So Bessie went out in the lobby before the show as patrons were arriving and screamed about how the she was being ripped off. It worked. Also in those same liner notes, Albertson talks about how Bessie Smith was not just a singer. She was a vaudeville performer and a comedian. Apparently, she was just good at performing. You know, I kind of look like her. Seriously.