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Please Help Me Get Him Off My Mind
"Born into poverty in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1894, the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith, began singing on street corners for change, but by 1912 she was performing with Ma Rainey's travelling show, fast on her way to becoming one of the most popular singers on the vaudeville circuit. Her 1923 debut single for Columbia Records ('Gulf Coast Blues/Down Hearted Blues') sold 800,000 copies across racial lines, to both black and white audiences. By the time the sides on this LP were recorded in 1928 in NYC, Smith was the highest-paid/biggest-selling black recording artist in the world, travelling to performances in her own railway car and even saving Columbia from bankruptcy thanks to the sale of her records. Her 'Empty Bed Blues,' featured here along with some lesser-known (but by no means lesser) recordings, is one of only three Smith recordings to be inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame."