October 25, 2008 7:13 AM   Subscribe

Almost 100 years ago Bessie Smith sung the blues
posted by Mblue (16 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure what the Charleston and "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" have in common except for having both been introduced 85 years ago. And I'm not sure what you're indicating they predict.
posted by ardgedee at 8:00 AM on October 25, 2008

OK, I think you're going to have to explain this a little. Two unrelated videos and the one linked with "almost 100 years ago" is from the 1950s, which was more or less 50 years ago. It's entirely possible that this is genius and I've missed it entirely, but it's also possible it's...not.
posted by donnagirl at 8:01 AM on October 25, 2008

I'm going to pretend it's a puzzle, actually. Is it that the dancers in the Charleston video do something that looks a lot like vogue dancing at the end, so they prophecy...Madonna? And Bessie is singing about being "down and out" so she prophecies...our economy? And these are related because Madonna's career and our economy are both worth a lot less than they used to be?
posted by donnagirl at 8:09 AM on October 25, 2008

Almost 100 years ago?
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:09 AM on October 25, 2008

I don't care what mblue intends; anything that reminds us of Bessie Smith is fine. Single greatest jazz number: "St. Louis Blues"
posted by acrasis at 8:31 AM on October 25, 2008

I'm guessing he considers "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" a prophecy of current economic conditions. I have no idea what the Charleston has to do with anything, but it's a neat clip. Thanks, I guess.
posted by languagehat at 8:32 AM on October 25, 2008

Um, I suspect someone was high when writing this post. We will not be able to decode what the Charleston and a Bessie Smith song and "100 years ago" have to do with each other, because it is impossible. It is high logic.
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:49 AM on October 25, 2008

I found out about Bessie Smith's take on this from a comment from miss lynnster when I posted my own version last year. She linked a page with a bunch of recordings (in goddam .ram format), if you want to go poking for more, though I'm hoping most of that has been supplanted by mp3s somewhere at this point.

I am confused by the Charleston thing too.
posted by cortex at 9:51 AM on October 25, 2008

I prefer something a little more modern.
posted by findango at 9:55 AM on October 25, 2008

I wonder if Big Mama Thornton and Bessie Smith ever met?
posted by doctorschlock at 10:01 AM on October 25, 2008

posted by Sys Rq at 10:02 AM on October 25, 2008

posted by Pecinpah at 10:37 AM on October 25, 2008

posted by doctorschlock at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2008

doctorschlock, probably not ... Big Mamma was born in 1926 and Bessie died in 1937.

"I don't think anybody in the world will ever be able to get as much hurt into one song."

This article with biographer Chris Albertson offers fascinating insight into Bessie Smith's life - quite excellent, including commentary about John Hammond's role in the mythology around her death.

One of my favorite Bessie Smith songs: Gimme a pigfoot and a bottle of beer
posted by madamjujujive at 11:03 AM on October 25, 2008

Kitchen Man is probably the filthiest song that doesn't actually contain any dirty words. And if you're a jazz scholar, Bessie provides the perfect example of true "blue notes" - her thirds are generally smack in the middle between major and minor. And what a singer!
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2008

Now that the thread is dead, I'll explain "The Charleston". It was simply meant to represent people (it's criminal that I have to use this word, but there's so many now) who profit from their companies losses.
posted by Mblue at 5:15 PM on October 25, 2008

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