The Dope on Bessie Smith
Albertson, Chris. Bessie. London, Barrie and Jenkins, 1972. This is the best all-around biography on Smith. Though it is out of print, you can usually find a copy for sale at abebooks.com
Brooks, Edward. The Bessie Smith Companion. New York: De Capo Press, 1982. This is an exhaustive discography. Also out of print, so try abebooks.com.
Feinstein, Elaine. Bessie Smith. New York: Viking Press, 1985. Although this isn't as exhaustive as Albertson's book, it is an entertaining biography. Check for it at abebooks.com.
I have included a variety of Bessie Smith recordings that are just the berries!
Lamp the first two for Smith's 1929 short film, St. Louis Blues. Scorsese's is a copacetic documentary collection on the blues genre.