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Bessie Smith in flapper gear

Bessie Smith was a star in the 1920s, which meant fabulous fashion.

Bessie Smith singing

According to most, Bessie Smith was an impeccable, versatile performer.

W.C. Handy

The Russell Simmons of the blues, his legacy was less for his music and more for his marketing skills.

Louis Armstrong

His trumpet playing is iconic in American popular music, and his career overlapped very beneficially with both Smith's and Handy's work.

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