When the ‘talkies’ arrived she made a short film based on St. Louis Blues which shows us her impassioned performance. Bessie Smith, pictured in 1936. After this shot we see her again It's loungy, jazzy, and only a little bit sad. Louis Armstrong's trumpet sings plaintively, as if it's a voice in a duet with Bessie Smith's raspy beauty. JazzStandards.com: The premier site for the history and analysis of the standards jazz musicians play the most. Photo by Carl Van Vechten. In four brief strains, "St. Louis Blues" comes and goes as easy as elevator music. The first thing that the audience will notice is that Smith is sitting on the floor, she grabs a bottle of alcohol and a glass, By seeing this you can tell that it is representing her depression and therefore links with the title 'St Louis Blues'. A goofy harmonium gently taps out chords in a church-style dirge behind them both. It was one of the first blues songs to succeed as a pop song and remains a fundamental part of jazz musicians' repertoire. Bessie continued to record, including ‘Back Water Blues’ about the 1927 Mississippi floods and ‘Gin House Blues’ and ‘A Good Man is Hard to Find’, both songs of bitter personal experience. Being released by Parlophone and peaking at number 3 on the US pop charts, Bessie Smith was contracted for a film of the same name, “St. "Saint Louis Blues" (or "St. Louis Blues") is a popular American song composed by W. C. Handy in the blues style and published in September 1914. Public Domain, Library of Congress. Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer widely renowned during the Jazz Age.Nicknamed the "Empress of the Blues", she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on fellow blues singers, as well as jazz vocalists.
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