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If this is your first visit, welcome to my blog of memories and observations. If you wish to be notified of new posts, enter an e-mail address above, and click on "Submit." As we move through a seventh year of this venture, I thank all who have made regular visits, as well as fellow bloggers who have found Stomp Off worth linking to. Doing this sort of thing is time-consuming, but I try to post fresh material at least once a week—let me know what you think. There is a Commentary option at the end of each post and a Guest Book can be reached by scrolling down and clicking on the quill image. I welcome your observations, reaction and/or suggestions in either spot—or both. As for blog content, the most current posts are on the home page, starting at the top. Earlier items are listed by month, year and title in the archive index. To zero in on a particular key word or subject, use the search option that is located directly beneath the blog's masthead. Most images can be enlarged with a mouse click, and there are links to some of my favorite blogs, etc. Since visitors have come from 150 countries, a translator with numerous languages is located below. You can at any time revert to English with a click at the top left of this page:

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Ruby Tapes 3 - Running from Jack

Here are more of Ruby Smith's recollections of life on the road with Bessie Smith, her aunt by marriage. Please be forewarned that this segment get rather raunchy as Ruby uses explicit language and describes a sex act.

Since mainstream hotels did not open their rooms to black people, touring companies, like Bessie's either stayed on the train (if they owned the car) or at theatrical rooming houses, like Kate's, in Detroit. This extract begins at Kate's, where the show stayed while appearing at the Koppin Theater, and ends in the apartment of a friend of Bessie's in Cincinnati.

In a future segment, Ruby  takes us back to Detroit and a buffet flat. Don't know what a buffet flat was? Bessie sang about one and Claude McKay's 1928 novel, Home To Harlem, has many mentions of these interesting establishment.

As usual, Bessie's husband, Jack Gee pops up and everybody scatters. He loved the money Bessie was making, but he never got used to the show business environment.

Let me once again alert you to the fact that Ruby told it like it was, so this audio contains explicit language and descriptions.    

I look forward to reading your comments and/or questions,


  1. "Oh mother", that was great and healthy LOL. Isn't it like the "St. Louis Blues" movie cast and songs lyrics as Bessie played and sang it?

    Thanks for sharing it was a pleasure.

  2. Chris, thanks so much for this window (with no shades, no blinds) onto the past.