Mike’s Monday Muse – Bessie Smith

Mike’s Monday Muse is where friend of the blog, roots DJ, house show organizer, Bloomington Music Expo czar and all around nice guy Mike McAfee picks one song a week to share with the people.

The Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith was singing about racism, poverty and social injustices 100 years ago and has influenced Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Shemekia Copeland, Beyonce and so many others. NPR wrote, “By singing about black lives with care and conviction, Smith and her sister classic blues women Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter and Sippie Wallace advanced the revolutionary idea that black lives mattered — and specifically, that black women’s lives mattered.”

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