Song #17: Cemetery Blues

Bessie_Smith

I’ve been a huge fan of Bessie Smith since a friend put “Gimme A Pig Foot” on a mix tape back in college in the early 90s. Known as the ‘Empress of Blues,’ she was one of the biggest stars of the 20s. She started as a traveling singer and dancer, and became one of the biggest attractions in vaudeville, and blues singing.

“Cemetery Blues,” about a woman who goes to the graveyard to sing the blues to the ghosts and date a particular ghost named Jones, was recorded in 1923, making it the oldest song on this year’s mix. Bessie Smith is accompanied by New Orleans piano player, Clarence Williams, who started playing as a child in the hotel owned by his family and latter in honky-tonks in Storyville.

Bound Woman. Grave from Key West Cemetery

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s