The first and most important point to emphasize is that, as author Chris Albertson reveals in his biography of Bessie Smith
, Hammond signed the singer to a series of contracts with Columbia Records that gave her a small, fixed fee for each performance she recorded and no royalties.
When published by Stein and Day in 1972, Bessie was hailed by Whitney Balliett as "the first estimable full-length biography not only of Bessie Smith
but of any black musician" (Whitney Balliett, "Bessie Smith
Plain," New Yorker 49, no.
, "The Empress of the Blues," began in the Rabbit Foot minstrelsy troupe, as did jazz great LouisJordan.
Washington, Bessie Smith
, Louis Armstrong, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ella Baker, Elijah Muhammad, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, and Aretha Franklin (to list a relative handful of those mentioned) mix with those of Coltrane, Sun Ra, Davis, and Monk.
Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith
, and Billie Holiday.
The Death of Bessie Smith
was a highly political play.
Unfulfilled love, unromantic sex, and jazz greats from Bessie Smith
to Cortez's ex-husband Ornette Coleman are subjects of her first collection of poems, Pissstained Stairs and The Monkey Man's Wares (1969).
, Ricki's childhood icon, is on her tape player, singing, "I woke up this morning with an awful aching head.
But if I were forced to make a list, I would include, among other things, music by Bessie Smith
, Morton Feldman, Public Enemy, Tibetan Buddhist monks, The Roches, J.
Wild Women Don't Have the Blues (California Newsreel) is an hourlong work, directed by Christine Dall, about the Queens" of the blues, principally Bessie Smith
, who in bearing and extravagance predict Aretha Franklin and Patti Labelle.
In scenes that allude to events of Albee's life, The Zoo Story and the five plays that followed it in the next two years--The Death of Bessie Smith
(1960), The Sandbox (1960), Fam and Yam (1960), The American Dream (1961), and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1962)--Albee dramatizes his characters' conflicting loyalties to their stereotypical family identities of the past and the mysteries of their present existence.
Berlin, 1959), The Death of Bessie Smith
(1960), The Sandbox (1960), Box (1968), and Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse - Tung (1968) -- earned him a reputation as the leading American exponent of the theatre of the absurd.