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Short Synopsis
This revised and expanded edition of Chris Albertson's Bessie contains new details on Bessie Smith's early years, new interview material, and a chapter devoted to events and responses that followed the original publication.

Full Synopsis
Bessie Smith, the great singer known as the "Empress of the Blues," is considered by many to be the greatest blues singer of all time. She was also a successful vaudeville entertainer who became the highest-paid African American performer of the Roaring Twenties.

Chris Albertson's revised and expanded edition of the biography of this extraordinary artist debunks many of the myths that have circulated since her untimely death in 1937. Albertson writes with insight and candor about the singer's personal life and her career, supplementing his historical research with dozens of interviews with her relatives, friends, and associates, including Ruby Walker Smith, a niece by marriage who toured with Bessie for over a decade.

"Robertson Dean offers a wonderfully nuanced reading." ---Library Journal Audio Review

"The most devastating, provocative, and enlightening work of its kind ever contributed to the annals of jazz literature." ---Los Angeles Times

"A remarkably clear-eyed examination of Smith's personality (and sexuality) and, more important, of the gritty and greedy music business." ---Atlantic Monthly

"[Robertson Dean] adopts just enough of an accent to clearly distinguish the speakers, whether black, white, American, or European. Further, the shifts from one to another sound perfectly natural." ---AudioFile


Author Chris Albertson

Narrated by Robertson Dean

Publication date Aug 19, 2014

Running time 13 hrs 15 min

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