Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith is known for her music in the 1920s. She sang blues at first but the times were changing so she later changed her music genre to jazz. In the 1920s she was one of the most successful female singers in the 1920s. She was also known as "Empress of the Blues." Bessie went to New York for her first recording in 1923. The song she recorded was "Down-Hearted Blues." This song became a huge hit soon after she recorded it, and became the highest paid African American. She sang songs about African Americans living in America and that is why some of her songs became so famous. Bessie had a big audience and it didn't just consist of African Americans, there were also white people there as well. In 1929 Bessie Smith played in a movie called "St. Louis Blues."


Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong is known for his jazz music back in the 1920s. His music career all started with him playing his cornet on the streets to help support his family. Louis was invited to go to Chicago with Joe "King" Oliver in 1921. Joe "King" Oliver was a famous cornet player. A year later Armstrong joined the Joe's Band. Armstrong went back to Chicago and betweeen 1925 and 1927 he made his own band called "The Hot Five". After making his own band he had his first recording. He also stopped playing the cornet and started playing the trumpet. Armstrong moved back to New York and when he got there people were asking him if he wanted to join their bands. Armstrong played roles in movies, he recorded movies, and performed in Broadway.