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 Testifies: Backstage Bisexuality.

Here are more stories of life on the road with Bessie Smith, told by her niece and confidante, Ruby Walker in her inimitable way. This one starts with an episode in New York City, and moves on to an event that took place during a Southern tour. Ruby mentions Lilllian Simpson, her schoolmate whom she persuaded Bessie to hire, and speaks of lesbian activities, which were almost de rigueur and remarkably tolerated in touring companies. 


  1. Don't know if any one has told you. You do a great job with the banners you create as a graphic artist for your site. The layering is really nice.

    Other than write, did you also do layout work for the magazines?

  2. Keep the Bessie stories a'coming!! Love em! Don O. from KNON 89.3 fm turned me on to your site. Love it!
    Miss Marcy & her Texas SugarDaddy's www.missmarcy.com
    Classic Blue for a Contemporary Jazz Audience

  3. I am not able to listen to any of the the Ruby tapes. They won't play.

  4. Sorry, the service I use for audio posting service had a problem. I will fix this later today (Thursday). If anyone encounters the same problem, please bring it to my attention?