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Bessie Tucker (1928 - 1929)

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Album Review

Document's Complete Recorded Works (1928-1929) is an exhaustive overview of Bessie Tucker's known recordings, compiled from a pair of late-'20s sessions and including no less than seven alternate takes (each presented right next to the original). This reliance on exact sequencing, along with the poor fidelity and a large number of performances, are enough to make this of limited interest to casual listeners. Since this is the only Bessie Tucker collection in print, however, it's the best place to find classic recordings like "Penitentiary" and "Fryin' Pan Skillet Blues."


Born: Texas

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s

Very little is known of the classic blues belter Bessie Tucker, a product of the folk and field holler vocal traditions of her native East Texas region. A woman whose petite frame belied the earthy power of her voice, her legend is largely founded on a bawdy 1928 Memphis session for the Victor label on which she was accompanied by pianist K.D. Johnson; the date yielded her best-known track, "Penitentiary" (sung in honor of an institution to which she was reportedly no stranger)....
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Bessie Tucker (1928 - 1929), Bessie Tucker
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