Bill Steber reminded us of that in a Facebook post that included the picture, above, which he took 20 years ago in the room where Bessie Smith died in Clarksdale after a car accident on Highway 61, in what was then the Colored Hospital. A few years later, it became the Riverside Hotel, where it is still open and operated by the son of the woman who made it a hotel. That place is an essential stop for anyone interested in Mississippi Blues history.
Below is a 1929 film of her singing “St. Louis Blues.” Her singing is breathtaking on this one.