On December 23, producer John Hammond assembles an extraordinary cast of more than 40 performers for a concert called From Spirituals to Swing: An Evening of American Negro Music.

The concert featured such performers as Meade “Lux” Lewis, Pete Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sidney Bechet, Count Basie, Big Joe Turner, Albert Ammons, Sonny Terry, and Helen Humes. The recording of the event is considered one of the most successful live jazz recordings ever produced.

The event was dedicated to singer Bessie Smith, who died a year before in a car accident in Virginia.

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