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Never go to sleep on an argument.

December 26, 2007


I’m not a huge jazz fan (unless you count Tortoise, and I doubt many jazz fans would, which is possibly why I don’t like jazz) but I love Bill Crow’s Jazz Anecdotes. It’s a really juicy collection of stories, many of them hilarious. I bring it up because I happened upon this little nugget today and I laughed so much I nearly fell off the toilet. It concerns Bessie Smith, ‘The Empress of The Blues’ (trumpeter Herman Autrey is our narrator).

“Bessie was married to a detective, Jack Gee. He was a tough man, you know. Jack told me this story, that Bessie used to lie there with a butcher knife telling him “When you go to sleep, I’m going to kill you!” And Jack would be lying there with his .45 in his hand, and say “You start over here, I’m going to blow your brains out.” She says “You go to sleep and start snoring, I’m going to kill you. I’m going to stick you with the knife, man.”
I said “Well, Jack, how can you sleep?”
He says “Ah, she ain’t going to do it.”

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