Git Right – Happy Birthday Bessie!

‘Pick up them sheets and Run!’

That’s right friends, today is Bessie Smith’s birthday. She’d be 108, if she’d somehow managed to live that long in body. She lives on in song of course, never will stop singin’ if her gravestone is to be believed and Lord, you know I hope it is. She was killed in a car crash out on highway 61, travelling from Memphis to Clarksdale, Mississippi after a show. Probably the first great singer of the century to die in a car. Now, Bessie wasn’t what you’d call a church-going type gal but we got us here a coupla kinda church numbers for y’all today. ‘Moan You Moaners’ sees Bessie indulge in a little tellin’ it like it is and a little foolin’ a round both. You know you wouldn’t mess with Bessie. There’s a story I love ’bout her that one time performing a tent show in the South, sheet wearing dumb-asses the Ku Klux Klan surrounded the tent, threatening to pull it down and trap everyone inside. Bessie stormed out her own self to meet ’em, shouting, “You had better pick up them sheets and run!”. then she went on back and done the show like it weren’t no thing. Sadly, maybe it weren’t for her in those days.

On Revival Day (A Rhythmic Spiritual)

Moan, You Moaners

~ by Mumblin' Earl on April 15, 2012.

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