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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Shameless Selfie

As a rule, I don't carry ads on this blog, but friends tell me that I should at least run one for my Bessie Smith biography, so here is one that you can easily skip. The attached audio features actor Robertson Dean reading a short excerpt from my introduction to the book. The entire, unabridged reading runs 13 hours and comes in a Tantor Audiobooks boxed set of 11 CDs. A readable Kindle edition is also available for download, and Yale University Press still has it in book form. Mr. Dean does an excellent job of reading on the audiobook version. As for the HBO film, Queen Latifah's singing and Music Director Evyen J. Klean's instrumental setting lend an authenticity to the music that is rarely captured in biographical films but the rest of this atrocious film is a crude travesty of Bessie Smith, her era, and her life. You can blame a woman named Dee Rees for that—her writing and direction are disgraceful insults to Bessie Smith. 

I hope this commercial intrusion does not offend anyone. 

Links to Amazon for the Audiobook, Paperback, and Kindle editions:


  1. Also available at audible.com (owned by Amazon). Congratulations. Looking forward to hearing it!

  2. I've read both books and listened to Ruby's tapes so many times it's hard for me to listen to. LOL. I can't help but hear Ruby's voice. Congrats on the audio book Chris! And thanks for all you've done over the years.