Friday, August 20, 2010

I love all-day suckers: Bessie sings the blues

Oh yeah, oh yeah, it's Bessie Smith! Every line of this is heavily suggestive - particularly the aggressively sexual way she sings it - but it somehow passed the censors, probably because they didn't have enough imagination to know what it meant.

Smith recorded particularly well, because of the clarity and power of her voice, so her records hold up better than most, even the ones from the early '20s.

She had the usual tragic life, died too young, was hit by a car I think. Why, why, why? One could say it's part of the artist's life, but look at Ella. I think Bessie went out of style for a while in the '30s, before making a brief comeback. Went out of style. 'Scuse me while I find a brick wall to run into.


  1. Only blacks and hipsters knew about Bessie in those days.

  2. There was a whole Erica Jong book about her. Not that I read Erica Jong.