Hey guys, so I have been having so many site and hosting issues I think I might start bleeding from the eyes and ears from stress and rage. (Sorry – graphic, but it’s how I feel. In fact I am chatting to tech support right now as I type this. So … site issues.) REGARDLESS we’re finally into spring! That shit is amazing! Fingers crossed for no more snow, and all bright happiness and NOT too many fucking pollen counts. >.>
Erm, new paragraph for happier things. Spring! Birthdays! Shelli Stevens! Well, Shelli hasn’t been to ALBTALBS in some time, but we’re always happy to have her. Especially on her birthday! This is what she had to say. 😀
Lime invited me to come do a birthday blog post, and of course I said yes! Especially knowing it’s women’s history month and I can chat about another love in my life. Music! So I was a big choir geek in high school and college. For awhile I considered becoming a music teacher. One genre I really loved, and performed in, was jazz (blues, swing, etc). I listened to just about every jazz song I could find and discovered so many favorites songs/artists. One singer in particular I want to share with you today.
Her name was Bessie Smith, and she was a super fascinating and mega talented gal. If you haven’t heard of her, she was a legendary blues singer of the 20th century, also known as the “Empress of the Blues”. Born in Tennessee in 1894, she rose from a life of poverty to become one of the highest paid black entertainers in the world, popular with both the African American community and Caucasian. She was controversial with her drinking binges, temper, and having scandalous affairs with women while being married. Sadly, she was killed in a car accident in 1937 (which had all kinds of rumors swirling around it!) but her music lived on and influenced future jazz and rock musicians such as Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin (Joplin helped buy Bessie a headstone for her unmarked grave in 1970).
Just take a moment and listen to her sing in the video below. I would’ve loved to hear her live back in the 20s!
Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Shelli! I’d never heard of Bessie Smith before, but I really enjoyed listening to I’m Wild About That Thing. I agree, hearing her live must have been something really special. So do you guys have a favorite influential artist?
And happy birthday to you, Shelli! I hope you’re having a lovely day and that it includes cake, cupcakes, and cocktails! 😀 Everyone remember to wish Shelli a happy happy birthday!
And you know – even though you shouldn’t … If you do need incentive… 😉 Shelli is generously offering someone an e-copy of her (or his) choice from her backlist!