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Bessie Gee (Smith)

Also Known As: "Empress of the Blues"
Дата рождения:
Место рождения: Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States
Смерть: Умер в Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States
Причина смерти: Car accident
Место погребения: Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States
Ближайшие родственники:

Дочь William Smith и Laura Smith
Жена Earl Love и Jack Gee
Партнёр Richard K. Morgan
Мать Jack Gee, Jr.
Сестра Bud Smith; Andrew Smith; Viola Smith; Willie Smith; Tennie Smith и ещё 2

Профессия: Singer, Actress
Менеджер: Kenneth Kwame Welsh
Последнее обновление:
открыть все 16

Ближайшие родственники

About Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Smith

Sometimes referred to as The Empress of the Blues, Smith was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and, along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.

By 1923, when she began her recording career, Smith had taken up residence in Philadelphia. There she met and fell in love with Jack Gee, a security guard whom she married on June 7, 1923, just as her first record was released. During the marriage—a stormy one, with infidelity on both sides—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 railroad car. Gee was impressed by the money, but never adjusted to show business life, or to Smith's bisexuality. In 1929, when she learned of his affair with another singer, Gertrude Saunders, Bessie Smith ended the relationship, although neither of them sought a divorce.

Smith eventually found a common-law husband in an old friend, Richard Morgan, who was Lionel Hampton's uncle and the antithesis of her husband. She stayed with him until her death.

Broadway

Smith's career was cut short by a combination of the Great Depression (which all but put the recording industry out of business) and the advent of "talkies", which spelled the end for vaudeville. She never stopped performing, however. While the days of elaborate vaudeville shows were over, Smith continued touring and occasionally singing in clubs. In 1929, she appeared in a Broadway flop called Pansy, a musical in which top critics said she was the only asset.

Film

In 1929, Smith made her only film appearance, starring in a two-reeler titled St. Louis Blues, based on W. C. Handy's song of the same name. In the film, directed by Dudley Murphy and shot in Astoria, she sings the title song accompanied by members of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, the Hall Johnson Choir, pianist James P. Johnson and a string section — a musical environment radically different from any found on her recordings.

See also

----

  • Residence: (1910 — Age: 16), Chattanooga Ward 7, Hamilton, Tennessee
  • Wedding License: (transcribed) 7 day of June A.D. 1923. Orphan's Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (see "timeline" tab for full transcription)
  • Death Certificate: Sept 26, 1937, Afro American Hospital, Clarksdale, Mississippi.
  • "Funeral of Bessie Smith" The Afro American, Oct 9, 1937. Bessie Smith Gee is survived by three sisters, Misses Viola Smith, Lula Smith and Tennie Smith; a husband, Jack Gee; a brother, Clarence Smith; and two nephews, Thomas Hill and Dolhin Smith .... Jack Gee quit show business in 1930 and now has a prosperous junk contracting business in New York City.  He resides at 48 West 127th Street.
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Хронология Bessie Smith

1894
15 Апреля 1894
Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States
1900
1900
Возраст 5
Chatanooga, Hamilton , Tennessee, United States

1900 Census 14th Civil Dist, 4th WD Chattanooga, Hamilton Co., TN 
Page 69 A - Supervisor's Dist 3, Enumeration Dist 60, SHeet 12 
Enumerated June 7, 1900 
Residence: #100 Cross? 
Laura Smith Head B F b. Jan 1850 age 50 widow 10 chil 
dren born 7 living b. AL Father AL Mother AL 
Bud Smith Son B M b. Apr 1872 age 28 single b. AL Father AL Mother AL 
Andrew Smith Son B M b. Feb 1875 age 25 married - married 1 yr b. AL Father AL Mother AL Occu: Boiler Maker 
Viola Smith Daughter B F b. May 1877 age 23 single b. AL Father AL Mother AL Occu: Cook 
Tennie Smith Daughter B F b. Feb 1881 age 19 single b. AL Father AL Mother AL 
Lula Smith Daughter B F b. Dec 1883 age 16 single b. AL Father AL Mother AL Occu: AT SChool 
Clarence Smith Son B M b. Oct 1885 age 14 single b. AL Father AL Mother AL Occu: At School 
Bessie Smith Daughter B F b. July 1892 age 7 single b. TN Father AL Mother AL 
Cora Smith Daughter-in-law B F b. Feb 1878 age 22 married - married 1 yr 1 child born 0 living b. TN Father GA MOther GA

1910
1910
Возраст 15
Chatanooga, Hamilton , Tennessee, United States

1910 Census Chattanooga, Hamilton Co., TN
#14 School St.
Viola Smith Head F Mul 30 divorced 1 child born 1 living AL AL AL Occu: Laundress
Laura Smith Daughter F Mul 12 single TN USA AL
Bessie Smith Sister F Mul 16 single TN AL AL

1919
4 Ноября 1919
Возраст 25
1920
1920
Возраст 25
Atlantic City, Atlantic County, New Jersey, United States
1923
7 Июня 1923
Возраст 29
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States

From Rummaging through some papers that have been collecting dust in a closet for 36 years, I came across my official copy of Bessie and Jack's application for a marriage license. It has the following info:

Statement of Male
Full name: John Gee
Color: B
Relationship of parties making application: None
Occupation: Special Officer
Birthplace: Va
Residence: 1236 Webster Street
Date of Birth: Mar 7/1889
That he has never been married before
Name and surname of Father: Lilton
of Mother: Lillie
Maiden name of Mother: Alexander
Residence of Father: Md
of Mother: Md
Color of Father: B
of Mother: B
Occupation of Father: Laborer
of Mother: ---
Birthplace of Father: Va
of Mother: Va
Is applicant an imbecile, epileptic, of unsound mind, or under guardianship as a person of unsound mind, or under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug: No
Has applicant within five years been an inmate of any county asylum or home for indigent persons: No
Is applicant physically able to support a family: Yes
Signature of Applicant: John Gee (signed)

Statement of Female
Full name: Bessie Smith
Color: B
Occupation: Artist
Birthplace: Tenn
Residence: ab. adr
Date of Birth: April 15/1894
That she has never been married before
Is applicant afflicted with any transmissible disease: No
Name and surname of Father: William
Of Mother: Laura
Maiden name of Mother: -----
Residence of Father: dead
of Mother: dead
Color of Father: B
of Mother: B
Occupation of Father: ----
of Mother: ---
Birthplace of Father: Alabama
of Mother: Alabama
Is applicant an imbecile, epileptic, of unsound mind, or under guardianship as a person of unsound mind, or under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug: No
Has applicant within five years been an inmate of any county asylum or home for indigent persons: No

Signature of Applicant: Bessie Smith (signed)

Sworn and subscribed to o me this 7 day of June A.D. 1923

Signed by Assistant Clerk of Orphan's Court

Christiern Albertson 14:45, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

1937
26 Сентября 1937
Возраст 43
Clarksdale, Coahoma County, Mississippi, United States

From http://fishbellyblues.com/tag/richard-morgan/

he myth perpetuated by the play was largely accepted as fact until convincing evidence to the contrary appeared in the original 1972 edition of Bessie, a biography of the singer. The author Chris Albertson interviewed the white surgeon, Doctor Hugh Smith, who came upon the wreck. The doctor and his friend Henry Broughton were on the way to a fishing trip.

What is known about the incident is that Morgan flagged down Dr.Smith and Broughton, and asked for help. Dr. Smith examined Smith using the headlights of his car. Her right arm was torn loose at the elbow and the bones in the elbow were shattered. Her nerves were intact and the artery in her arm was still intact. A hemorrhage to Smith’s arm did not cause her death. She did not need a tourniquet, so Dr. Smith covered the wound with a handkerchief. However, Smith had severe internal injuries to her chest and abdomen. She was semi-conscious and was having trouble breathing.

Dr. Smith and Broughton were helping Smith when a car travelling at high speed, carrying a white man and a woman crashed into Dr. Smith’s car. The man, who was driving, sustained injuries to his chest from the steering wheel. Two ambulances arrived at the scene within three or four minutes of each other.The first one was called by the truck driver, who left the scene. The second one was called by Broughton, who walked to a nearby house.

Smith was taken by the first ambulance to arrive and was promptly driven directly to a black hospital. In 1937, an ambulance driver would not even think of taking a black patient to a white hospital. She was most likely in shock, close to death and unconscious, before reaching the hospital. By the time she arrived at the hospital, it was around 11 am. Smith’s arm was amputated and she was pronounced dead at 11:30 am.

4 Октября 1937
Возраст 43
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States

From http://fishbellyblues.com/tag/richard-morgan/

Smith was buried near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 4, 1937. Some 7,000 mourners attended her funeral. There is no record of Smith’s exact birth date, but she was about 43 years old.

In the summer of 1970, shortly before her own death from a heroin overdose, the young blues singer Janis Joplin had a headstone made for Smith’s unmarked grave. It reads, “The Greatest Blues Singer in the World Will Never Stop Singing.”

From Jackie Kay. Bessie Smith. (Bath, UK: Absolute Press, 1997

in August 1970 Juanita Greene, President of the North Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP and Janis Joplin purchased a gravestone for Smith that read "The Greatest Blues Singer In The World Will Never Stop Singing." It had been Greene's mother who had served as a housekeeper for Smith.