Bessie Smith with Desi Waters

By Rebecca Marquardt

Desi Waters joins us for a conversation about BESSIE SMITH (1894-1937), the "Empress of Blues." She was once the highest-paid touring artist in the US and released 28 singles her first year as a recording artist. She was also known to carry on affairs with her chorus girls, she enjoyed a nice buffet flat party, and she surprised her second husband by bringing home a newly-adopted son.  ​ DESI WATERS is an actor, singer, writer, and director.  Her favorite roles include: Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins, Mabel in Fame: The Musical, The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, Mariya in Uncle Vanya, and as a vocalist for President Clinton’s Birthday Celebration at Radio City Music Hall. TV credits include The Big Help for Nickelodeon, Broad City, CityKids, Grave Mysteries, Power, and The Blacklist. In 2019 she took on the role and responsibility of being a mom. ​ Read the Transcript or listen to the episode on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, support us on Patreon and get involved behind the scenes. CW: Sex and violence. We reference an interview with Ruby Walker which you can listen to on Spotify or iTunes (the clip we play for Desi runs from 6:58 - 8:47).

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