What impact did Bessie Smith have?

Asked By: Samina Minchala | Last Updated: 17th January, 2020
Category: music and audio rhythm and blues
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Forebears: Bessie Smith, The Empress Of The Blues The pioneering singer influenced blues, jazz, rock and beyond with her powerful voice and inventive delivery, displaying a greatness rooted in the ability to channel her life story into her work.

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Considering this, how did Bessie Smith impact the world?

Along with Ma Rainey and Mamie Smith, singer Bessie Smith helped pioneer the genre of blues music and propel it into popular culture. Her early death at the age of 43 cut short a career that influenced the direction of American music and contributed to the success of African Americans in the performing arts.

Likewise, what did Bessie Smith believe in? The African American singer Bessie Smith was called "The Empress of the Blues." Her magnificent voice, sense of the dramatic, clarity of diction (one never missed a word of what she sang), and incomparable time and phrasing set her apart from the competition and made her appeal as much to jazz lovers as to blues lovers

People also ask, why was Bessie Smith so important?

Known in her lifetime as the “Empress of the Blues,” Smith was a bold, supremely confident artist who often disdained the use of a microphone and whose art expressed the frustrations and hopes of a whole generation of black Americans. She was known for her rich contralto voice and her breathtaking emotional intensity.

Who was influenced by Bessie Smith?

NPR's Jazz Profiles: Bessie Smith. No blues singer can escape the influence of Bessie Smith, "The Empress of the Blues." She gave the music its raw, regal poignancy -- and marketability. Her feverish growls and testifying delivery has informed nearly every facet of African-American music, from Mahalia Jackson to Mary J

33 Related Question Answers Found

What was the most popular song in the 1920s?

Top 10 Songs in the 1920's!
  • Down Hearted Blues – Bessie Smith.
  • In the Jailhouse Now – Jimmie Rodgers.
  • Makin' Whoopee! – Bing Crosby.
  • My Man – Fanny Brice.
  • Swanee – Al Johnson.
  • West End Blues – Louis Armstrong.
  • Willie the Weeper – Louis Armstrong.
  • You'd be Surprised – Eddie Cantor.

How was Bessie discovered?

By the early 1920s, Smith had settled down and was living in Philadelphia, and in 1923 she met and married a man named Jack Gee. That same year, she was discovered by a representative from Columbia Records, with whom she signed a contract and made her first song recordings.

Where did Bessie live?

New Jersey

What did Bessie Smith do for a living?


What is the best blues song ever?

  • Crossroad Blues – Robert Johnson.
  • Pride and Joy – Stevie Ray Vaughan.
  • I'm Tore Down – Freddy King.
  • Born Under A Bad Sign – Albert King.
  • Sunshine of Your Love – Cream.
  • Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters.
  • Red House – Jimi Hendrix.
  • The Thrill Is Gone – B.B. King.

Where was Bessie born?

Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

What does blues music sound like?

That sound you hear that you might call “bluesy” is an effect called blue (or flatted) notes. Blues musicians play certain chords (combinations of two or more notes) at a slightly lower pitch than on the regular musical scale. The slight lowering of the pitch tends to create a darker, sadder, or more mysterious sound.

What came first jazz or blues?

Many believe jazz came out of the blues, or that jazz has its roots in the blues. Both jazz and blues originated in the deep south around the end of the 19th century. The blues came out of the African-American communities, from their work songs, spirituals, field chants and hollers.

When did Bessie Smith die and how?

Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, TN in 1894. She would go on to be arguably one of the greatest voices in the blues, and was even known as The Empress of the Blues. Smith would later die, as reported, on September 26, 1937 in a hospital in Clarksdale, Mississippi due to the results of an automobile accident.

How do you describe blues music?

Although instrumental accompaniment is almost universal in the blues, the blues is essentially a vocal form. Blues songs are lyrical rather than narrative; blues singers are expressing feelings rather than telling stories. The emotion expressed is generally one of sadness or melancholy, often due to problems in love.

What happened to Bessie Smith son?

In an act of revenge, Jack Gee kidnapped Jack Gee, Jr. from Bessie's Philadelphia home and brought the boy to the offices of the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC). The SPCC then sent the boy to a home in Valhalla, New York. Smith, who had no idea where her adopted son was, grew despondent.

Why are the Blues called blues?

The name of this great American music probably originated with the 17th-century English expression “the blue devils,” for the intense visual hallucinations that can accompany severe alcohol withdrawal. Shortened over time to “the blues,” it came to mean a state of agitation or depression.

How many records did Bessie Smith sell?

Within a reported 10 months of signing Smith, the Columbia label sold two million records. Over the next four years, her sales reached six million. But she sang a wider repertoire as a featured performer in vaudeville, in her traveling tent show, on theatrical tours, and, later, in jazz clubs.

How would you describe a jazz song?

Here are some adjectives for jazz: sweet, lighthearted, soft progressive, sophomoric alliterative, peppy simple, tinny old, sheer promotional, interior and soft, angular, contrarian, classical, progressive, tinny happy, exceptionally sleazy, cool modern, thin repetitive, mellow, sophisticated, soft modern, frothy

When was Bessie Smith born?

April 15, 1894

How did Bessie die?

Traffic collision