Bessie Smith Research Paper

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Bessie Smith, an African American blues singer was killed in a car accident. Her songs have touched the lives of many black people across the country, and her songs will be forever missed. Elizabeth (Bessie) Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on April 15, 1894. Bessie was one of the seven children that William and Laura Smith had. Her father died shortly after she was born and in 1906, her mother and two of her brothers died, so her aunt ended up raising her and her remaining siblings. At a young age, she knew she had a unique voice, so she used it and with the help of her brother Andrew playing guitar, she became a street singer begging for money. Around 1920, she settled down in Philadelphia and in 1923 she married a man named Jack Gee. Later in that same year, someone from Columbia Records recording company found her and they decided to sign a contract for her. Her first song was called “Down-Hearted Blues” and it sold about 800,000 copies, making her famous. Bessie performed in many shows with people such as Louis Armstrong, Clarence Williams, and Fletcher Henderson’s band. Bessie’s style of music was actually the…show more content…
Unfortunately, there was a truck pulled to the side of the road and Richard didn’t see it going back on the road. Richard tried to go around the truck but he lost control of their car and collided into the truck. Bessie had her arm out of the car and it was basically torn off of her elbow. Luckily, a surgeon was on the highway and came across the car accident. The surgeon stopped to help Bessie but then another car came and crashed into them. They were all taken to the hospital in an ambulance, but then when they reached the hospital, Bessie Smith was already dead. Bessie Smith, also known as “Empress of the Blues”, was buried near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 4th, 1937, and about 7,000 people came to her

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