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," famed for her ability to be both regal and sensual in song and style. She was also the highest paid African American entertainer of her generation from her early days performing on Chattanooga street corners and her travels on the black vaudeville circuit to her decade… read more

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