Music: New Pop Records, Nov. 26, 1951

Back in the '20s and early '30s, Bessie Smith was the rage of the blues world. She could punch a tune or wail it soft. She stood 5 ft. 9 in., weighed 210 Ibs., and she drank gin as if it were water. She died in an automobile crash in 1937. Her friends thought she was about 50, but nobody knew for certain.

Before she died, Bessie recorded more than 160 numbers for Columbia. This week Columbia released 47 of them on four LPs, and titled them The Bessie Smith Story. Bessie's album contains some...

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