Ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

Bessie Smith - Wikipedia

ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

Angela. Davis, for example, drawing from the lyrics of Ma Rainey, Bessie. Smith, and Billie Holiday, theorizes that the blues has "helped to construct an aesthetic. The real Ma Rainey bestowed a lot of things on the real Bessie, from tactics for money management (both wore carpenter's belst under their. Gertude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday What is distinctive about the blues, however, particularly in relation to other American popular musical.

Known as the Empress of the Blues, Smith was born into poverty and orphaned at an early age. She is credited with recording more than songs between and Smith performed on stage throughout the southern United States and recorded with such jazz greats as Louis ArmstrongBenny Goodman and Coleman Hawkins.

Her singing talent has exerted a huge influence on popular American singers; Mahalia Jackson, Janis Joplin and Norah Jones have all given her credit as their inspiration. Her father, William Smith, was a laborer and part-time preacher. When Bessie was nine years old, both of her parents died, leaving her older sister, Viola, to care for the children. To survive, Bessie and her brother, Andrew, began to perform a musical act on the streets of Chattanooga.

Bessie sang and her brother accompanied her on the guitar, often in front of the White Elephant Saloon.

ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

Inafter her eldest brother, Clarence, left home to tour with a small traveling theater company, Bessie decided to do the same and make a living as an entertainer. Inwhen Clarence returned to Chattanooga, he persuaded the managers of his troupe, Lonnie and Cora Fisher, to give Bessie an audition. Du Bois was on its board of directors and was dismissed because she was considered too rough, she supposedly stopped singing to spit.

She was then living in Philadelphia, when she met Jack Gee, a security guard, whom she married on June 7,just as her first record was being released.

Bessie Smith - It Makes My Love Come Down (1929)

During the marriage Smith became the highest-paid black entertainer of the day, heading her own shows, which sometimes featured as many as 40 troupers, and touring in her own custom-built railroad car.

Their marriage was stormy with infidelity on both sides, including numerous female lovers for Bessie. Inwhen she learned of his affair with another singer, Gertrude SaundersSmith ended the relationship, although neither of them sought a divorce.

Smith later entered a common-law marriage with an old friend, Richard Morgan, who was Lionel Hampton 's uncle. She stayed with him until her death. Byshe had established a reputation in the South and along the East Coast.

Insales of overcopies of "Crazy Blues," recorded for Okeh Records by the singer Mamie Smith no relationpointed to a new market.

Bessie Smith – Gender and Sexuality Student Services - University of Illinois Springfield - UIS

The recording industry had not directed its product to black people, but the success of the record led to a search for female blues singers. Bessie Smith was signed to Columbia Records in by Frank Walkera talent agent who had seen her perform years earlier. Her first session for Columbia was on February 15, For most ofher records were issued on Columbia's regular A-series.

When the company established a " race records " series, Smith's "Cemetery Blues" September 26, was the first issued. Bessie visited Snooks whenever she was in Macon, showering him with gifts and affection. When the boy was six, the woman made good on her promise and gave Snooks to Bessie, who then named him Jack, Jr. Though Bessie treated him like a son, years later it was discovered that the adoption had never been legal.

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  • Bessie (2015)

Like in the movie, Jack warmed to the child, at least at first, and Viola was given the task of caring for the boy when Bessie was away. According to the account that Bessie's niece, Ruby Walker, gave to biographer Chris Albertson, the real-life events played out almost exactly as they do in the HBO Bessie movie. In real life, they were at a house party when a drunk man with gold teeth grabbed Ruby's arm and forced her to dance with him. Bessie got up from her table and confronted the man.

Like in the movie, it was then that Bessie brought her clenched fists down on the man's head. The man left the room and they thought the altercation was over. When Bessie and the girls finally left the house several hours later, the man came out of nowhere and plunged a long dagger into Bessie's stomach.

According to Ruby, Bessie chased him for "about three blocks" before collapsing with the dagger still in her stomach. An ambulance rushed Bessie to the hospital. Doctors urged her to stay for a couple days to recover, but like in the movie, she refused to miss that day's show, making such a fuss that the hospital let her go roughly ten hours after the stabbing took place.

ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

Did Bessie and Jack's marriage end after she found out that he was using her money to fund his mistress' show? Yes, as in the HBO movie, Bessie's marriage to Jack ended after she learned that he had used her money to fund a show for his mistress, Gertrude Saunders pictured below.

Actress Chantelle Rose right portrays Gertrude in the movie. Did Jack really kidnap Jack, Jr.? After about two weeks, the courts agreed to let Bessie take Jack, Jr. After running away and trying to get back to Bessie, Jack, Jr.

Bessie Smith

Hated by Gertrude, he ran away again, was caught, and ended up in various state run homes, unable to get word to Bessie of his whereabouts. It took several years before he was reunited again with Bessie, which brought her restored happiness. Yes, and like in the Bessie movie, her relationship with Richard allowed her to find happiness again.

Like Bessie, Richard had separated from his spouse.

ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

Bessie and Richard found themselves at rather similar places in their lives. However, not shown in the movie, Richard had three children to his wife Lucy, and the youngest child was still an infant.

Did “Bessie” accurately reflect Bessie Smith’s sexuality and relationships

What were the circumstances surrounding Bessie Smith's death? On September 26,Bessie Smith died at age 43 in a car accident in Mississippi.

ma rainey and bessie smith relationship

The movie alludes to the tragedy but does not show it. In the dark, early-morning hours, Bessie's lover, Richard Morgan, was driving her old Packard south along U. Route 61 when it is believed that he misjudged the speed of a slow-moving truck down the road. Tire marks suggested that Morgan swerved to avoid the truck but hit it side-on, with the brunt of the impact striking the passenger side where Bessie was sitting, likely with her arm or elbow out the window.

The truck's tailgate sheared off the wooden roof of Bessie's Packard. A Memphis surgeon, Dr.