For One Night Only – Musical Influences: Bessie Smith

As I mentioned in this week’s author note from chapter 4 of For One Night Only, it’s not easy to choose only one song from Bessie Smith’s amazing collection of blues, full of heartbreak and perseverance. She was a fearless and independent woman who began recording music in 1923, pushing the limits and breaking barriers at every turn.

Despite the struggles that life threw at her, she was a survivor—similar to our Miss Swan in many ways. Recorded in 1923, enjoy “Down Hearted Blues,” from Bessie Smith, her first for Columbia Records, which pulled them out of a financial slump, written by two women, pianist, Lovie Austin, and blues singer, Alberta Hunter. 🎶

For One Night Only – Musical Influences: Paul Whiteman And His Orchestra With George Gershwin

With my posting of last week’s chapter 3 of For One Night Only, I forgot to share another musical influence and inspiration, surrounding the highly anticipated arrival of the Twilight Club’s latest entertainer, Isabella Swan. Also from 1924, enjoy “Rhapsody In Blue,” from Paul Whiteman and his orchestra with George Gershwin, the composer, on piano! 🎶