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Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
(April 15, 1894 – September 26, 1937) was an American blues singer. Nicknamed the Empress of the Blues, she was the most popular female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s.[1] She is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era and was a major influence on other jazz singers.[2]

Contents

1 Life 2 Career

2.1 Broadway 2.2 Film 2.3 Swing Era

3 Death

3.1 Unmarked grave

4 Hit records 5 Selected awards and recognition

5.1 Grammy Hall of Fame 5.2 National Recording Registry 5.3 Inductions 5.4 U.S. postage stamp

6 Digital remastering 7 In popular culture 8 Notes 9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links

Life[edit]

Smith in 1936

The 1900 census indicates that her family reported that Bessie Smith was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, in July 1892.[3][4] The 1910 census gives her age as 16,[5] and a birth date of April 15, 1894 appears on subsequent documents and was observed as her birthday by the Smith family. The 1870 and 1880 censuses report three older half-siblings, but later interviews with Smith's family and contemporaries contain no mention of them among her siblings. She was the daughter of Laura (born Owens) and William Smith, a laborer and part-time Baptist
Baptist
preacher (he was listed in the 1870 census as a "minister of the gospel", in Moulton, Lawrence County, Alabama). He died while his daughter was too young to remember him. By the time Bessie was nine, her mother and a brother had also died. Her older sister Viola took charge of caring for her siblings.[6] To earn money for their impoverished household, Smith and her brother Andrew began busking on the streets of Chattanooga; she sang and danced, and he accompanied her on the guitar. Their favorite location was in front of the White Elephant Saloon at Thirteenth and Elm streets, in the heart of the city's African-American community. In 1904, her oldest brother, Clarence, left home, joining a small traveling troupe owned by Moses Stokes. "If Bessie had been old enough, she would have gone with him," said Clarence's widow, Maud. "That's why he left without telling her, but Clarence told me she was ready, even then. Of course, she was only a child."[7] In 1912, Clarence returned to Chattanooga
Chattanooga
with the Stokes troupe and arranged an audition for his sister with the managers of the troupe, Lonnie and Cora Fisher. She was hired as a dancer rather than a singer, because the company already included the well-known singer Ma Rainey. Smith eventually moved on to performing in various chorus lines, making the "81" Theater in Atlanta her home base. She also performed in shows on the black-owned (Theater Owners Booking Association) (T.O.B.A.) circuit and became its biggest star after she signed a recording contract with Columbia Records. Smith's recording career began in 1923.[8] She was then living in Philadelphia, where she met Jack Gee, a security guard, whom she married on June 7, 1923, just as her first record was being released. During the marriage Smith became the highest-paid black entertainer of the day, heading her own shows, which sometimes featured as many as 40 troupers, and touring in her own custom-built railroad car. Their marriage was stormy with infidelity on both sides, including numerous female lovers for Bessie.[9] Gee was impressed by the money but never adjusted to show business life or to Smith's bisexuality. In 1929, when she learned of his affair with another singer, Gertrude Saunders, Smith ended the relationship, although neither of them sought a divorce. Smith later entered a common-law marriage with an old friend, Richard Morgan, who was Lionel Hampton's uncle. She stayed with him until her death.[6] Career[edit]

Portrait of Smith by Carl Van Vechten

All contemporary accounts indicate that while Rainey did not teach Smith to sing, she probably helped her develop a stage presence.[10] Smith began forming her own act around 1913, at Atlanta's "81" Theater. By 1920, she had established a reputation in the South and along the East Coast. In 1920, sales of over 100,000 copies of "Crazy Blues," recorded for Okeh Records
Okeh Records
by the singer Mamie Smith
Mamie Smith
(no relation), pointed to a new market. The recording industry had not directed its product to black people, but the success of the record led to a search for female blues singers. Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
was signed to Columbia Records
Columbia Records
in 1923 by Frank Walker, a talent agent who had seen her perform years earlier. Her first session for Columbia was on February 15, 1923. For most of 1923, her records were issued on Columbia's regular A-series. When the company established a "race records" series, Smith's "Cemetery Blues" (September 26, 1923) was the first issued. Both sides of her first record, "Downhearted Blues" backed with "Gulf Coast Blues", were hits (an earlier recording of "Downhearted Blues" by its co-writer Alberta Hunter had previously been released by Paramount Records).[11] Smith became a headliner on the T.O.B.A. circuit and rose to become its top attraction in the 1920s.[12] Working a heavy theater schedule during the winter and performing in tent shows the rest of the year (eventually traveling in her own railroad car), Smith became the highest-paid black entertainer of her day.[13] Columbia nicknamed her "Queen of the Blues," but the press soon upgraded her title to "Empress of the Blues". Smith had a strong contralto voice,[14] which recorded well from her first session, which was conducted when recordings were made acoustically. With the advent of electrical recording (her first electrical recording was "Cake Walking Babies [From Home]", recorded on May 5, 1925),[15] the sheer power of her voice was even more evident. She was also able to benefit from the new technology of radio broadcasting, even on stations in the segregated South. For example, after giving a concert for a white-only audience at a theater in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 1923, she then performed a late-night concert on station WMC, which was well received by the radio audience.[16] She made 160 recordings for Columbia, often accompanied by the finest musicians of the day, notably Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson, James P. Johnson, Joe Smith, and Charlie Green. Broadway[edit] Smith's career was cut short by the Great Depression, which nearly put the recording industry out of business, and the advent of "talkies", which spelled the end of vaudeville. She never stopped performing, however. The days of elaborate vaudeville shows were over, but Smith continued touring and occasionally sang in clubs. In 1929, she appeared in a Broadway musical, Pansy. The play was a flop; top critics said she was its only asset. Film[edit]

Play media

St. Louis Blues, Smith's only film,1929

In 1929, Smith made her only film appearance, starring in a two-reeler, St. Louis Blues, based on W. C. Handy's song of the same name. In the film, directed by Dudley Murphy and shot in Astoria, Queens, she sings the title song accompanied by members of Fletcher Henderson's orchestra, the Hall Johnson Choir, the pianist James P. Johnson and a string section—a musical environment radically different from that of any of her recordings. Swing Era[edit] In 1933, John Hammond, who also mentored Billie Holiday, asked Smith to record four sides for Okeh (which had been acquired by Columbia Records in 1925). He claimed to have found her in semi-obscurity, working as a hostess in a speakeasy on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia.[17] Smith worked at Art's Cafe on Ridge Avenue, but not as a hostess and not until the summer of 1936. In 1933, when she made the Okeh sides, she was still touring. Hammond was known for his selective memory and gratuitous embellishments.[18] Smith was paid a non-royalty fee of $37.50 for each selection on these Okeh sides, which were her last recordings. Made on November 24, 1933, they serve as a hint of the transformation she made in her performances as she shifted her blues artistry into something that fit the swing era. The relatively modern accompaniment is notable. The band included such swing era musicians as the trombonist Jack Teagarden, the trumpeter Frankie Newton, the tenor saxophonist Chu Berry, the pianist Buck Washington, the guitarist Bobby Johnson, and the bassist Billy Taylor. Benny Goodman, who happened to be recording with Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters
in the adjoining studio, dropped by and is barely audible on one selection. Hammond was not entirely pleased with the results, preferring to have Smith revisit her old blues sound. "Take Me for a Buggy Ride" and "Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)", both written by Wesley Wilson, were among her most popular recordings.[6] Billie Holiday, who credited Smith as a major influence (along with Louis Armstrong), made her first record for Columbia three days later with the same band. Death[edit] On September 26, 1937, Smith was critically injured in a car crash while traveling along U.S. Route 61
U.S. Route 61
between Memphis, Tennessee, and Clarksdale, Mississippi. Her lover, Richard Morgan, was driving and misjudged the speed of a slow-moving truck ahead of him. Tire marks at the scene suggested that Morgan tried to avoid the truck by driving around its left side, but he hit the rear of the truck side-on at high speed. The tailgate of the truck sheared off the wooden roof of Smith's old Packard. Smith, who was in the passenger seat, probably with her right arm or elbow out the window, took the full brunt of the impact. Morgan escaped without injuries. The first people on the scene were a Memphis surgeon, Dr. Hugh Smith (no relation). In the early 1970s, Hugh Smith gave a detailed account of his experience to Bessie's biographer Chris Albertson. This is the most reliable eyewitness testimony about the events surrounding her death. After stopping at the accident scene, Hugh Smith examined the singer, who was lying in the middle of the road with obviously severe injuries. He estimated she had lost about a half pint of blood and immediately noted a major traumatic injury to her right arm; it had been almost completely severed at the elbow.[19] He stated that this injury alone did not cause her death. Although the light was poor, he observed only minor head injuries. He attributed her death to extensive and severe crush injuries to the entire right side of her body, consistent with a sideswipe collision.[20] Henry Broughton (a fishing partner of Smith's) and Smith moved the singer to the shoulder of the road. Smith dressed her arm injury with a clean handkerchief and asked Broughton to go to a house about 500 feet off the road to call an ambulance. By the time Broughton returned, about 25 minutes later, Bessie Smith was in shock. Time passed with no sign of the ambulance, so Hugh Smith suggested that they take her into Clarksdale in his car. He and Broughton had almost finished clearing the back seat when they heard the sound of a car approaching at high speed. Smith flashed his lights in warning, but the oncoming car failed to stop and plowed into his car at full speed. It sent his car careening into Bessie Smith's overturned Packard, completely wrecking it. The oncoming car ricocheted off Hugh Smith's car into the ditch on the right, barely missing Broughton and Bessie Smith.[21] The young couple in the new car did not have life-threatening injuries. Two ambulances arrived on the scene from Clarksdale, one from the black hospital, summoned by Broughton, the other from the white hospital, acting on a report from the truck driver, who had not seen the accident victims. Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
was taken to the G. T. Thomas Afro-American Hospital in Clarksdale, where her right arm was amputated. She died that morning without regaining consciousness. After her death, an often repeated but now discredited story emerged that she had died as a result of having been refused admission to a whites-only hospital in Clarksdale. The jazz writer and producer John Hammond gave this account in an article in the November 1937 issue of Down Beat magazine. The circumstances of Smith's death and the rumor promoted by Hammond formed the basis for Edward Albee's 1959 one-act play The Death of Bessie Smith.[22] "The Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
ambulance would not have gone to a white hospital, you can forget that," Hugh Smith told Albertson. "Down in the Deep South cotton country, no ambulance driver, or white driver, would even have thought of putting a colored person off in a hospital for white folks."[23]

Smith's death certificate

Smith's funeral was held in Philadelphia
Philadelphia
a little over a week later, on October 4, 1937. Her body was originally laid out at Upshur's funeral home. As word of her death spread through Philadelphia's black community, the body had to be moved to the O.V. Catto Elks Lodge to accommodate the estimated 10,000 mourners who filed past her coffin on Sunday, October 3.[24] Contemporary newspapers reported that her funeral was attended by about seven thousand people. Far fewer mourners attended the burial at Mount Lawn Cemetery, in nearby Sharon Hill.[25] Gee thwarted all efforts to purchase a stone for his estranged wife, once or twice pocketing money raised for that purpose.[26] Unmarked grave[edit] Smith's grave was unmarked until a tombstone was erected on August 7, 1970, paid for by the singer Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin
and Juanita Green, who as a child had done housework for Smith.[27] Dory Previn wrote a song about Joplin and the tombstone, "Stone for Bessie Smith", for her album Mythical Kings and Iguanas. The Afro-American Hospital, now the Riverside Hotel, was the site of the dedication of the fourth historical marker on the Mississippi Blues
Blues
Trail.[28] Hit records[edit]

Year Single US Pop[29][nb 1]

1923 "Downhearted Blues" 1

"Gulf Coast Blues" 5

"Aggravatin' Papa" 12

"Baby Won't You Please Come Home" 6

"T'ain't Nobody's Biz-Ness if I Do" 9

1925 "The St. Louis Blues" 3

" Careless Love Blues" 5

"I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle" 8

1926 "I Ain't Got Nobody" 8

"Lost Your Head Blues" 5

1927 "After You've Gone" 7

"Alexander's Ragtime Band" 17

1928 "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" 13

"Empty Bed Blues" 20

1929 "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" 15

Selected awards and recognition[edit] Grammy Hall of Fame[edit] Three recordings by Smith were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, an award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least 25 years old and that have "qualitative or historical significance".

Bessie Smith: Grammy Hall of Fame Award[31]

Year Recorded Title Genre Label Year Inducted

1923 "Downhearted Blues" Blues
Blues
(single) Columbia 2006

1925 "St. Louis Blues" Jazz
Jazz
(single) Columbia 1993

1928 "Empty Bed Blues" Blues
Blues
(single) Columbia 1983

National Recording Registry[edit] In 2002, Smith's recording of "Downhearted Blues" was included in the National Recording Registry by the National Recording Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.[32] The board annually selects recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[33] "Downhearted Blues" was included in the list of Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts in 2001. It is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock 'n' roll.[34] Inductions[edit]

Year Inducted Category Notes

2008 Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz
Jazz
Hall of Fame Jazz
Jazz
at Lincoln Center, New York

1989 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

1989 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "Early influences"

1981 Big Band and Jazz
Jazz
Hall of Fame

1980 Blues
Blues
Hall of Fame

U.S. postage stamp[edit] The U.S. Postal Service issued a 29-cent commemorative postage stamp honoring Smith in 1994. Digital remastering[edit] Technical faults in the majority of her original gramophone recordings (especially variations in recording speed, which raised or lowered the apparent pitch of her voice) misrepresented the "light and shade" of her phrasing, interpretation and delivery. They altered the apparent key of her performances (sometimes raised or lowered by as much as a semitone). The "centre hole" in some of the master recordings had not been in the true middle of the master disc, so that there were wide variations in tone, pitch, key and phrasing, as commercially released records revolved around the spindle. Given those historic limitations, the current digitally remastered versions of her work deliver significant improvements in the sound quality of Smith's performances. Some critics believe that the American Columbia Records
Columbia Records
compact disc releases are somewhat inferior to subsequent transfers made by the late John R. T. Davies for Frog Records.[35] In popular culture[edit]

The popular musical Bessie: The Life & Music of Bessie Smith, by the playwright Douglas M. Parker, follows Smith's rise, personal life and career, incorporating many of the songs that made her famous. The Death of Bessie Smith by Edward Albee
Edward Albee
also deals with her. The 1948 short story "Blue Melody", by J. D. Salinger, and the 1959 play The Death of Bessie Smith, by Edward Albee, are based on Smith's life and death, but poetic license was taken by both authors; for instance, Albee's play distorts the circumstances of her medical treatment, or lack of it, before her death, attributing it to racist medical practitioners. Bessie's Back in Town, a musical in production by Barry Edelson, presents as accurately as possible aspects of her life and death, while remaining true to her music.[36] The playwright Angelo Parra wrote the 2001 musical The Devil's Music: The Life and Blues
Blues
of Bessie Smith, with Miche Braden in the title role. In the video game series BioShock
BioShock
(1 and 2), Smith is portrayed as a cameo of a character by the name of Grace Holloway. Smith's music can be heard during the loading screen and in the level Paupers Drop, and in the various hallways and rooms of the sunken city. Her 1929 song "I'm Wild About That Thing" is (anachronistically) included in the sequel, BioShock: Infinite, set in 1912. HBO released a movie about Smith, Bessie, starring Queen Latifah, on May 16, 2015.[37] "Bessie Smith", a song by the Band, is about her.[38]

Notes[edit]

^ Joel Whitburn's methodology for creating pre-1940s chart positions has been criticised,[30] and those listed here should not be taken as definitive.

References[edit]

^ Jasen, David A.; Jones, Gene (September 1998). Spreadin' Rhythm Around: Black Popular Songwriters, 1880–1930. Schirmer Books. p. 289. ISBN 978-0-02-864742-5.  ^ "Bessie Smith: Controversy". SparkNotes. 1937-10-04. Retrieved 2015-08-30.  ^ Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 50. ISBN 978-0313344237.  ^ Scott, Michelle R. (1 Oct 2010). Blues
Blues
Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
and the Emerging Urban South. University of Illinois Press. p. 152.  ^ 1910 US Census, Chattanooga, Hamilton, Tennessee, Ward 7, Enumeration District 0065, Sheet 2B, Family #48. ^ a b c Albertson, Chris (2003). Bessie (rev. expanded ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09902-9. ^ Albertson, 2003, p. 11. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 12. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.  ^ Devi, Debra (25 Jun 2012). "Bessie Smith: Music's Original, Bitchinest Bad Girl". Huffington Post. Retrieved 17 February 2017.  ^ Albertson, 2003, pp. 14–15. ^ Lieb, Sandra R. (1981). Mother of the Blues: A Study of Ma Rainey. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 89. ISBN 0870233947, 9780870233944. ^ Oliver, Paul. "Bessie Smith". In Kernfield, Barry, ed. (2002). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. London: MacMillan. p. 604. ^ Albertson, 2003, p. 80. ^ "Legends Series – Bessie Smith: The Empress of the Blues". World Music Network. 3 June 2015. http://www.worldmusic.net/legends-series/bessie-smith-the-empress-of-the-blues/ ^ Albertson, Chris. CD booklet. Bessie Smith, The Complete Recordings Vol. 2. Columbia COL 468767 2. ^ "Hit on Radio", Chicago Defender, October 6, 1923, p. 8. ^ Hammond, John. John Hammond on Record. p. 120. ^ Albertson, Bessie, pp. 224–225. ^ " Blues
Blues
Legend Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
Dead 50 Years". Schenectady Gazette. 26 September 1987. Retrieved 16 November 2010.  ^ Albertson, Chris (1972). Bessie: Empress of the Blues. London: Sphere Books. pp. 192–195. ISBN 0-300-09902-9. ^ Albertson (1972), p. 195. ^ Love, Spencie (1997). One Blood: The Death and Resurrection of Charles R. Drew. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-8078-4682-7.  ^ Albertson, Chris (1972). Bessie: Empress of the Blues. London: Sphere Books. p. 196. ISBN 0-300-09902-9. ^ Albertson, Chris (1975). Bessie: Empress of the Blues. London: Sphere Books. ISBN 0-349-10054-3) ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons (3d ed.). McFarland & Company. Kindle ed. (Kindle locations 43874-43875). ^ Albertson, Bessie, pp. 2–5, 277. ^ Albertson, Bessie, p. 277. ^ "Historical Marker Placed on Mississippi Blues
Blues
Trail". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. January 25, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-09.  ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories: 1890–1954. Record Research. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.  ^ " Joel Whitburn Criticism: Chart Fabrication, Misrepresentation of Sources, Cherry Picking". Songbook. Retrieved 15 July 2015.  ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame". Grammy.org. Archived from the original on 2015-07-07. Retrieved 2015-08-30.  ^ [1] Archived February 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ [2] Archived February 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2014-04-06. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) ^ "100 Best Jazz
Jazz
Recordings". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-08-30.  ^ "Bessie's Back in Town: The Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
Story" on YouTube ^ "'Bessie' Starring Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
to Premiere This Spring on HBO – Ratings". TVbytheNumbers.Zap2it.com. Retrieved 2015-08-30.  ^ Bessie Smith

Further reading[edit]

Albertson, Chris (1991). Liner notes, Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Volumes 1–5. Sony Music Entertainment. Albertson, Chris (2003). Bessie (rev. and expanded ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09902-9. Barnet, Andrea (2004). All-Night Party: The Women of Bohemian Greenwich Village and Harlem, 1913–1930. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books. ISBN 1-56512-381-6.  Brooks, Edward (1982). The Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
Companion: A Critical and Detailed Appreciation of the Recordings. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-76202-1. Davis, Angela Y. (1998). Blues
Blues
Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-679-45005-X. Eberhardt, Clifford (1994). Out of Chattanooga. Chattanooga: Ebco. Feinstein, Elaine (1985). Bessie Smith. New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-80642-0. Grimes, Sara (2000). Backwaterblues: In Search of Bessie Smith. Amherst, Massachusetts: Rose Island. ISBN 0-9707089-0-4. Kay, Jackie (1997). Bessie Smith. New York: Absolute. ISBN 1-899791-55-8. Manera, Alexandria (2003). Bessie Smith. Chicago: Raintree. ISBN 0-7398-6875-6. Martin, Florence (1994). Bessie Smith. Paris: Editions du Limon. ISBN 2-907224-31-X. Oliver, Paul (1959). Bessie Smith. London: Cassell. Palmer, Tony (1976). All You Need is Love: The Story of Popular Music. New York: Grossman Publishers, Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-11448-0. Schuller, Gunther (1968). Early Jazz, Its Roots and Musical Development. Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504043-0 (paperback). Scott, Michelle R. (2008). Blue Empress: Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
and the Emerging Urban South in Black Chattanooga. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0252075455. Welding, Pete; Byron, Tony (eds.) (1991). Bluesland: Portraits of Twelve Major American Blues
Blues
Masters. New York: Dutton. ISBN 0-525-93375-1.

External links[edit]

Jazz
Jazz
portal Biography portal LGBT portal Music portal African American portal

Book: Bessie Smith

Library resources about Bessie Smith

Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

By Bessie Smith

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Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
at Encyclopædia Britannica Interview with Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
biographer Chris Albertson Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
discography at Discogs Bessie Smith
Bessie Smith
at Find a Grave

v t e

Bessie Smith

Singles

"Downhearted Blues" "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" "T'ain't Nobody's Biz-Ness If I Do" "The St. Louis Blues" " Careless Love Blues" "I Ain't Got Nobody" "After You've Gone" "Alexander's Ragtime Band" "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"

Related articles

St. Louis Blues

Book:Bessie Smith

v t e

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Class of 1989

Performers

Dion Otis Redding The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
(Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Keith Richards, Ian Stewart, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Bill Wyman) The Temptations
The Temptations
(Dennis Edwards, Melvin Franklin, Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin, Otis Williams, Paul Williams) Stevie Wonder

Early influences

The Ink Spots Bessie Smith The Soul Stirrers

Non-performers (Ahmet Ertegun Award)

Phil Spector

v t e

Inductees to the National Women's Hall of Fame

1970–1979

1973

Jane Addams Marian Anderson Susan B. Anthony Clara Barton Mary McLeod Bethune Elizabeth Blackwell Pearl S. Buck Rachel Carson Mary Cassatt Emily Dickinson Amelia Earhart Alice Hamilton Helen Hayes Helen Keller Eleanor Roosevelt Florence Sabin Margaret Chase Smith Elizabeth Cady Stanton Helen Brooke Taussig Harriet Tubman

1976

Abigail Adams Margaret Mead Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias

1979

Dorothea Dix Juliette Gordon Low Alice Paul Elizabeth Bayley Seton

1980–1989

1981

Margaret Sanger Sojourner Truth

1982

Carrie Chapman Catt Frances Perkins

1983

Belva Lockwood Lucretia Mott

1984

Mary "Mother" Harris Jones Bessie Smith

1986

Barbara McClintock Lucy Stone Harriet Beecher Stowe

1988

Gwendolyn Brooks Willa Cather Sally Ride Ida B. Wells-Barnett

1990–1999

1990

Margaret Bourke-White Barbara Jordan Billie Jean King Florence B. Seibert

1991

Gertrude Belle Elion

1993

Ethel Percy Andrus Antoinette Blackwell Emily Blackwell Shirley Chisholm Jacqueline Cochran Ruth Colvin Marian Wright Edelman Alice Evans Betty Friedan Ella Grasso Martha Wright Griffiths Fannie Lou Hamer Dorothy Height Dolores Huerta Mary Jacobi Mae Jemison Mary Lyon Mary Mahoney Wilma Mankiller Constance Baker Motley Georgia O'Keeffe Annie Oakley Rosa Parks Esther Peterson Jeannette Rankin Ellen Swallow Richards Elaine Roulet Katherine Siva Saubel Gloria Steinem Helen Stephens Lillian Wald Madam C. J. Walker Faye Wattleton Rosalyn S. Yalow Gloria Yerkovich

1994

Bella Abzug Ella Baker Myra Bradwell Annie Jump Cannon Jane Cunningham Croly Catherine East Geraldine Ferraro Charlotte Perkins Gilman Grace Hopper Helen LaKelly Hunt Zora Neale Hurston Anne Hutchinson Frances Wisebart Jacobs Susette La Flesche Louise McManus Maria Mitchell Antonia Novello Linda Richards Wilma Rudolph Betty Bone Schiess Muriel Siebert Nettie Stevens Oprah Winfrey Sarah Winnemucca Fanny Wright

1995

Virginia Apgar Ann Bancroft Amelia Bloomer Mary Breckinridge Eileen Collins Elizabeth Hanford Dole Anne Dallas Dudley Mary Baker Eddy Ella Fitzgerald Margaret Fuller Matilda Joslyn Gage Lillian Moller Gilbreth Nannerl O. Keohane Maggie Kuhn Sandra Day O'Connor Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin Pat Schroeder Hannah Greenebaum Solomon

1996

Louisa May Alcott Charlotte Anne Bunch Frances Xavier Cabrini Mary A. Hallaren Oveta Culp Hobby Wilhelmina Cole Holladay Anne Morrow Lindbergh Maria Goeppert-Mayer Ernestine Louise Potowski Rose Maria Tallchief Edith Wharton

1998

Madeleine Albright Maya Angelou Nellie Bly Lydia Moss Bradley Mary Steichen Calderone Mary Ann Shadd
Mary Ann Shadd
Cary Joan Ganz Cooney Gerty Cori Sarah Grimké Julia Ward Howe Shirley Ann Jackson Shannon Lucid Katharine Dexter McCormick Rozanne L. Ridgway Edith Nourse Rogers Felice Schwartz Eunice Kennedy Shriver Beverly Sills Florence Wald Angelina Grimké
Angelina Grimké
Weld Chien-Shiung Wu

2000–2009

2000

Faye Glenn Abdellah Emma Smith DeVoe Marjory Stoneman Douglas Mary Dyer Sylvia A. Earle Crystal Eastman Jeanne Holm Leontine T. Kelly Frances Oldham Kelsey Kate Mullany Janet Reno Anna Howard Shaw Sophia Smith Ida Tarbell Wilma L. Vaught Mary Edwards Walker Annie Dodge Wauneka Eudora Welty Frances E. Willard

2001

Dorothy H. Andersen Lucille Ball Rosalynn Carter Lydia Maria Child Bessie Coleman Dorothy Day Marian de Forest Althea Gibson Beatrice A. Hicks Barbara Holdridge Harriet Williams Russell Strong Emily Howell Warner Victoria Woodhull

2002

Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis Ruth Bader Ginsburg Katharine Graham Bertha Holt Mary Engle Pennington Mercy Otis Warren

2003

Linda G. Alvarado Donna de Varona Gertrude Ederle Martha Matilda Harper Patricia Roberts Harris Stephanie L. Kwolek Dorothea Lange Mildred Robbins Leet Patsy Takemoto Mink Sacagawea Anne Sullivan Sheila E. Widnall

2005

Florence Ellinwood Allen Ruth Fulton Benedict Betty Bumpers Hillary Clinton Rita Rossi Colwell Mother Marianne Cope Maya Y. Lin Patricia A. Locke Blanche Stuart Scott Mary Burnett Talbert

2007

Eleanor K. Baum Julia Child Martha Coffin Pelham Wright Swanee Hunt Winona LaDuke Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Judith L. Pipher Catherine Filene Shouse Henrietta Szold

2009

Louise Bourgeois Mildred Cohn Karen DeCrow Susan Kelly-Dreiss Allie B. Latimer Emma Lazarus Ruth Patrick Rebecca Talbot Perkins Susan Solomon Kate Stoneman

2010–2019

2011

St. Katharine Drexel Dorothy Harrison Eustis Loretta C. Ford Abby Kelley
Abby Kelley
Foster Helen Murray Free Billie Holiday Coretta Scott King Lilly Ledbetter Barbara A. Mikulski Donna E. Shalala Kathrine Switzer

2013

Betty Ford Ina May Gaskin Julie Krone Kate Millett Nancy Pelosi Mary Joseph Rogers Bernice Sandler Anna Schwartz Emma Willard

2015

Tenley Albright Nancy Brinker Martha Graham Marcia Greenberger Barbara Iglewski Jean Kilbourne Carlotta Walls LaNier Philippa Marrack Mary Harriman Rumsey Eleanor Smeal

2017

Matilda Cuomo Temple Grandin Lorraine Hansberry Victoria Jackson Sherry Lansing Clare Boothe Luce Aimee Mullins Carol Mutter Janet Rowley Alice Waters

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 24788472 LCCN: n83071529 ISNI: 0000 0001 2022 5643 GND: 118748548 SELIBR: 256279 SUDOC: 03314933X BNF: cb13899855g (data) MusicBrainz: ffa28768-ecda-42c6-ac49-6ce5c7d33

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