Loretta Barnard

Know Who You’re Googling: Bessie and Janis

Linked by talent, and ultimately fate, Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin were the very definition of the blues.   For 33 long years, the final resting place of Bessie Smith, a.k.a. Empress of the Blues, was unmarked. In August 1970, Janis Joplin paid for a headstone to honor her idol. The headstone reads: “The greatest blues singer in the world will never ... Read the full article
Loretta Barnard

Loretta Barnard is an Australian freelance writer and editor who, in a long career, has done almost everything possible in the book publishing industry. These days she actively pursues her love of music, literature and theatre, and is something of wannabe roving ambassador for the creative and performing arts.

The Big Smoke’s Ultimate Feels Playlist: Heartbreak, Heartache, Breakups, and Sass

Have a broken heart? Been betrayed? The Big Smoke counts down the 21 best songs to help heal a broken heart whatever stage you are at. (No Taylor Swift or Adele here.)

16 Songs for Record Store Day 2016

Happy Record Store Day 2016! Jesse Valencia burns you a killer mixtape of 16 songs to commemorate the occasion.