This week on From the Vault we feature a program preserved thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commision at the National Archives as part the Pacifica Radio Archives project American Women Making History and Culture 1963-1982.
Part of November 1976 series called Focus on Women Composers, this recording explores the life of blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) and includes examples of her music and readings from texts about Smith. The original program was presented by Fleur Helsingor and Jane Ayres and produced by Renee Roatcap.
Songs featured in this recording include Gulf Coast Blues, Aggravatin' Papa,Frankie Blues, among others; readings include excerpts from Chris Albertson's Bessie Smith biography and a 1947 Jazz Record magazine article.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.