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BESSIE SMITH “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home”

Photo by Carl Van Vechten

Finding music in the public domain means listening to plenty of music from the past.. I learned the musicians,whose names change  but the message remains the same. Bessie Smith, came into my world when Janis Joplin bought her a headstone, before Janis died of an overdose at 27(seems like the lifespan of the driven. )  Bessie has the voice. This song is gr8.  Written by Charles Warfield and Clarence Williams in 1919 and Louie Prima and Frank Sinatra also sang this song. ” I learned a lot studying this song’s past.

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Jazz Pioneers

The early days of jazz spawned great women jazz pianists —

Mary Lou Williams

This self-taught musician started her career at age seven in Pittsburgh as “the little piano girl of East Liberty.” She wrote, arranged and performed with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Earl Hines, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.


Sweet Emma Barrett, Billie Pierce, Jeanette Kimball, Mary Lou Williams,  among them. These women were so talented some eventually became band leaders, and these ground-breaking women made some significant contributions to Jazz. Here are some:

Sweet Emma Barrett

She played with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, sometimes one-handed after a stroke. Here she is being interviewed by Art Duke and performing with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Billie Pierce

Another member of the renown Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Here she is performing with her husband Dede. I appreciate the enhanced audio (by Konrad Klingelfus) on this track.



Jeanette Kimball

Jeanette Kimball was classically trained and played in “society bands” with Papa Celestin. Here’s an example:

She finally got to record on her own, and you can hear her piano chops: