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Bessie Smith: St. Louis Blues (DVD & CD)

Released on 14 November 2005

Format: DVD | Rating: Exempt from Classification

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DVD -St. Louis Blues: In 1929, Kenneth W. Adams and W.C. Handy wrote a short film treatment based on Handy's famous song "St. Louis Blues" and convinced the film studio RCA Phototone of the idea of making a short film. Phototone hired Dudley Murphy (director of the 1924 French avante garde classic "Le Ballet Mechanique") to direct a two-reel short to be shown before the featured attraction, much the same way newsreels, and cartoons where throw in as added attraction before films in those days.

At W.C. Handy's suggestion, Bessie Smith was picked to be the star of the film. Bessie had scored a huge hit in 1925 with her recording of "St. Louis Blues" which had featured Louis Armstrong on cornet. The film was shot in June of 1929 in Astoria, Long Island and was shown between the years 1929 and 1932. It was Bessie Smith's only film appearance. The film features a top notch Jazz band that includes James P. Johnson on piano, Thomas Morris and Joe Smith on cornet as well as the Hall Johnson Choir. The film had an all African American cast with dancer/actor Jimmy Mordecai as Bessie's good for nothing boyfriend and Isabel Washington Powell as the other woman.

CD tracklist:
1. Alexander's Ragtime Band
2. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out
3. The St. Louis Blues
4. Careless Love Blues
5. I Ain't Goin' To Play Second Fiddle
6. I Ain't Got Nobody
7. The Gin House Blues
8. Lost Your Head Blues
9. After You've Gone
10. A Good Man Is Hard To Find
11. Dyin' By The Hour
12. Empty Bed Blues (Part 1)
13. Empty Bed Blues (Part 2)
14. Blue Spirit Blues
15. I Don't Cry Baby
16. Baby Have Pity On Me
17. On Revival Day
18. Black Mountain Blues
19. Safety Mama
20. Down Hearted Blues
21. Gulf Coast Blues
22. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
23. Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do
24. Bleeding Hearted Blues
25. Midnight Blues
  • Region 0

Please note: this is a NTSC disc. Please verify the compatibility of your viewing equipment prior to ordering this title or consult our DVD FAQ

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CertificateExempt from Classification
LanguagesEnglish - Dolby Digital (2.0) Stereo
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.