Author: David Sessions
Source: Jazz News, April 5, 1961, p. 8
“BESSIE SMITH – Voice N.G.” Thus reads the entry against the date 21st April 1924 in Thomas Edison’s Talent Audition File. The grandfather of the gramophone obviously didn’t dig the blues for the same date shows “awful voice”, “No, voice bad”, “No – Singer N.G.” against the names of Lizzie Miles, Sara Martin and Viola McCoy respectively while Rosa Henderson earned the judgement “This is the limit. Can’t stand this voice. I have heard needle machine blues with much better voices”!.
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