The most influential popular female musician of the 1920s, Bessie Smith's records sold in unprecedented numbers and she was hailed as the Empress of the Blues. She had a profound impact on all jazz and blues musicians during her short lifetime and in the years immediately following her tragic death in 1937. In this programme, Alyn Shipton and
Irish singer (and Smith specialist) Christine Tobin select the gems from Smith's ten year recording career that should form the basis of a collection of her work.
Produced by Simon Poole and Alyn Shipton, a Unique Production for BBC Radio 3.