Bessie Smith

The Blues Biography

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Bessie Smith’s passionate vocals overrode the primitive recording technology of her era and made her the zenith of female blues singers from the 1920s and '30s. This 17-track collection takes a quick survey of her career, and although it lacks some essentials like her breakthrough recording of “Downhearted Blues,” it does have stand-out sides like “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and “Standin’ in the Rain,” which more than show what this one-of-a-kind singer could do with a song.

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