Tox Tunes #83: Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer (Bessie Smith)

May 25, 2014, 11:45 am

Bessie Smith (1894-1937) was one of the greatest blues singers on the jazz age. On this cut, recorded in 1933, this plea for fun, a trotter, and a bottle of beer turns distinctly druggier in the last verse:

Gimme a reefer and a gang o’ gin
Slay me, ’cause I’m in my sin
Slay me, ’cause I’m full of gin

For more Bessie Smith, listen to her version of W.C. Handy’s St. Louis Blues, with Louis Armstrong on cornet. This sublime cut is one of the great recordings in American musical history:

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