Albertson, Chris Gunnar (1931 – 2019)

Albertson, Chris Gunnar (1931 – 2019)

Biographer

Albertson’s major contributions to jazz history was in producing re-issues of Columbia Records’ early recordings of Bessie Smith. Known as the “Empress of the Blues”, she is considered by many to be the best female blues singer of all time. Albertson also authored, in 1972, her first significant biography. Albertson was born in Iceland, and educated there, and Denmark and England. Coming to the United States in 1957, he worked at two radio stations in Philadelphia before getting employed by the jazz label Riverside Records in New York. He recorded the likes of Meade Lux Lewis, Ida Cox, Alberta Hunter, and Earl “Fatha” Hines. Additionally, he produced Prestige Records, brought the legendary guitarist-singer Lonnie Johnson out of obscurity, and hosted jazz radio shows on WNEW and WBAI.
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