Directed by
Murphy, Dudley, American, 1897 - 1968
Produced by
Handy, W. C., American, 1873 - 1958
Subject of
Smith, Bessie, American, 1894 - 1937
Hall Johnson Choir, American, founded 1925
Lee, Johnny Jr., American, 1898 - 1965
Distributed by
Sack Amusement Enterprises, American, 1920 - 1979
Owned by
Smith, Ernie, American, ca. 1925 - 2004
acetate film
Duration (digital file): 00:04:48
Physical extent (film): 220 ft
A film clip with Bessie Smith singing in St. Louis Blues. It consists of a single reel of positive, black-and-white, 16mm acetate film with variable-area optical sound. The clip opens with Bessie Smith sitting on the floor with a bottle of alcohol beside her. She then begins to sing "My man's got a heart like a rock cast in the sea…" The footage then cuts to Smith singing the same song in a bar, as she stands by the counter. She is joined in chorus by other patrons in the bar while a band place a tune. At the end of that performance, the band plays another tune with a faster tempo.
Place filmed
Astoria, New York City, Queens County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Media Arts-Film and Video
sound films
black-and-white films (visual works)
16mm (photographic film size)
Jazz (Music)
Race films
Singers (Musicians)
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Anonymous Gift in memory of Ernest (Ernie) R. Smith, Jazz Historian
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
Unknown - Restrictions Possible

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