Tennessee honors Bessie Smith

Tennessee Music Pathways will unveil a marker for the Empress of the Blues

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Tennessee Music Pathways program celebrates the musical heritage of the state.

 

Since 2018, they have been placing markers in the hometowns of artists across the state.

 

There is one in Spring City honoring piano legend Pig Robbins.

 

On Friday, the Pathway stops in the heart of Chattanooga.

 

The state will put up a marker for Bessie Smith at the Cultural Center that bears her name.

 

A hundred years ago, the “Empress of the Blues” was one of the top entertainers in the country.

 

She started her career singing for pennies on street corners in “The Big Nine.”

 

We share with you a story from our archives in 1985 when the Bessie Smith Museum was being put together.

 

It looks back on the career of it’s namesake.

 

On Friday, Bessie’s granddaughter will join local and state officials for the unveiling of the Bessie Smith marker.

 

That will be at noon at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center at 200 E. Martin Luther King Blvd.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News