American Routes is blues and jazz, gospel and soul, rockabilly and country, Cajun and swamp pop, Tejano, Latin… and beyond. Songs and stories from musicians describe a deep and diverse nation with sounds and styles shared by all Americans. From the bayous to the beltways, from crossroads to crosstown, on interstates and city streets, turn up your radio for the sonic journey!

American Routes—produced in New Orleans since 1998

Empress of the Blues: Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith was called the Empress of the Blues, but she was also the highest paid African American entertainer of her generation. We'll explore the life and times of Bessie Smith from her early days performing on Chattanooga street corners and her travels on the TOBA circuit to her decade as a top selling… read more

listen
NEXT WEEK
LAST WEEK

DISCOVER MORE THE AMERICAN ROUTES INDEX

Candi Staton
Candi Staton Learn
William Bell
William Bell Learn
The Quebe Sisters
The Quebe Sisters Learn
Marshall Grant
Marshall Grant Learn