"The first major blues and jazz singer on record and one of the most powerful of all time, Bessie Smith rightly earned the title of 'The Empress of the Blues.' Even on her first records in 1923, her passionate voice overcame the primitive recording quality of the day and still communicates easily to today's listeners (which is not true of any other singer from that early period). At a time when the blues were in and most vocalists (particularly vaudevillians) were being dubbed 'blues singers,' Bessie Smith simply had no competition."
Scott Yanow, Allmusic.com
Bessie was turned away by Black Swan Records because they considered her personality too rough for their label.
Wrote and recorded "Black Snake Moan."
Mother of the Blues.
The King of the Delta Blues.
Born in the Mississippi Delta.
Born in New Orleans with roots in ragtime and the blues.
The dominant form of American dance music for over a decade.
Black musical tradition is a part of its core.
The progeny of spirituals and cousin to the blues.