Arago: 29-cent Bessie Smith

29-cent Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith (1894-1937), the Empress of the Blues, began singing in public as a child for pennies. In 1923, her first recording, "Downhearted Blues," sold an unprecedented 750,000 records. She recorded more than a hundred blues and popular songs, paving the way for future musicians.


Postal Bulletin (September 1, 1994).

Additional Records