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Bessie Smith
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Bessie Smith (Paperback)

£9.99
£7.99
20%
Usually despatched within 2 days.

Synopsis

A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK


Bessie Smith: singer, icon, pioneer.


Scotland's National Poet Jackie Kay brings to life the tempestuous story of the greatest blues singer who ever lived.


'A wonderful writer on a magnificent singer.' ROBERT WYATT


BESSIE SMITH was born in Tennessee in 1894. Orphaned by the age of nine, she sang on street corners before becoming a big name in travelling shows. In 1923 she made her first recording for a new start-up called Columbia Records. It sold 780,000 copies and made her a star. Smith's life was notoriously difficult: she drank pints of 'bathtub gin', got into violent fist fights, spent huge sums of money and had passionate love affairs with men and women. She once single-handedly fought off a cohort of the Ku Klux Klan. 


?As a young black girl growing up in Glasgow, Jackie Kay found in Bessie someone with whom she could identify and who she could idolise. In this remarkable book Kay mixes biography, fiction, poetry and prose to create an enthralling account of an extraordinary life.


********



'The most vivid evocation of Bessie Smith I have ever read.' IAN CARR, BBC MUSIC


'Biographies don't usually bring the subject to life again. This one did. I finished the book then started it again immediately.' PEGGY SEEGER


'What a life! What gulpable storytelling! Exactly the kind of writing about music we need: personal, ardent, playfully confrontational, questioning, undogmatic. A love song to a complicated idol' KATE MOLLESON


'Pure joy: one trailblazing woman pays tribute to another. Jackie Kay finds the music in the short, dazzling, capricious life of Bessie Smith.' HELEN LEWIS


'Kay's book is the amplifier that Smith's voice deserves.' SUNDAY TIMES



BiographyBiography: generalBiography: arts & entertainmentMusic & DanceDanceMusic reviews & criticismMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresBluesMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresIndividual composers & musicians, specific bands & groupsMusic & DanceMusic BooksMusic: styles & genresJazz Publisher: Faber & Faber Publication Date: 18/02/2021 ISBN-13: 9780571362929  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
Availability: Usually despatched within 2 days. Add to Basket

Jackie Kay is a Scottish poet and novelist, and has been the National Poet of Scotland since 2016. She is the author of a number of works, including The Adoption Papers, Trumpet and Red Dust Road. The recipient of numerous prizes, she was also twice shortlisted for the Scottish Book of the Year Award. She is currently chancellor of the University of Salford, and divides her time between Glasgow and Manchester. @JackieKayPoet

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