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Mamie Smith

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Full Name  Mamie Robinson
Role  Singer
Name  Mamie Smith
Spouse  Jack Goldberg (m. ?–1946)
Mamie Smith https41mediatumblrcomea752bed2b41d854fe5e8c
Born  May 26, 1883 (1883-05-26) Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. (unconfirmed)
Occupation  Actress, dancer, singer
Died  September 16, 1946, Staten Island, New York City, New York, United States
Albums  Crazy Blues: The Best Of
Movies  Paradise in Harlem, Murder on Lenox Avenue, Jailhouse Blues
Similar People  Ma Rainey, Peetie Wheatstraw, Lonnie Johnson, Al Jolson, Roosevelt Sykes

Mamie smith joseph samuel s jazz band a little kind treatment 1921

Mamie Smith (nee Robinson; May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress, who appeared in several films late in her career. As a vaudeville singer she performed a number of styles, including jazz and blues. She entered blues history by being the first African-American artist to make vocal blues recordings in 1920. Willie "The Lion" Smith (no relation) explained the background to that recording in his autobiography, Music on My Mind.


Paradise in harlem vocalist mamie smith

Early life

Mamie Smith Mamie Smith 18831946 Giclee Print at AllPosterscom

Mamie Robinson was probably born in Cincinnati, Ohio, although no records of her birth exist. When she was ten years old, she found work touring with a white act called the Four Dancing Mitchells. As a teenager, she danced in Salem Tutt Whitney's Smart Set. In 1913, she left the Tutt Brothers to sing in clubs in Harlem and married a singer named William "Smitty" Smith.

Musical career

Mamie Smith MamieSmith Tumblr

On February 14, 1920, Mamie Smith cut "That Thing Called Love" and "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" on Okeh Records, in New York City, after African-American songwriter and bandleader Perry Bradford persuaded Fred Hagar. The record marked the first time that a black blues singer was recorded; the musicians however were all white. Fred Hagar had received multiple threats from Northern and Southern pressure groups saying they would boycott the company if he was to record a black singer. Despite these threats the record was a commercial success and opened the door for more black musicians to record their music. Smith's biggest hit was recorded later, on August 10, 1920. Smith recorded a set of songs written by Perry Bradford, including "Crazy Blues" and "It's Right Here For You (If You Don't Get It, 'Tain't No Fault of Mine)", again on Okeh Records., and the record became a best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year.

Large numbers of the record were purchased by African Americans, and there was a sharp increase in the popularity of race records. Because of the historical significance of "Crazy Blues", it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994, and, in 2005, was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.

Although other African Americans had been recorded earlier, such as George W. Johnson in the 1890s, they were African-American artists performing music which had a substantial following with European-American audiences. The success of Smith's record prompted record companies to seek to record other female blues singers and started the era of what is now known as classic female blues.

Smith continued to make a series of popular recordings for Okeh throughout the 1920s. In 1924 she made three releases for Ajax Records which, while heavily promoted, did not sell well. She made some records for Victor. She toured the United States and Europe with her band "Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds" as part of "Mamie Smith's Struttin' Along Review".

She was billed as "The Queen of the Blues". This billing was soon one-upped by Bessie Smith, who called herself "The Empress of the Blues." Mamie found that the new mass medium of radio provided a way to gain additional fans, especially in cities with predominantly white audiences. For example, she and several members of her band performed on KGW in Portland, Oregon in early May 1923, and garnered positive reviews.

Various recording lineups of her Jazz Hounds included (from August 1920 to October 1921) Jake Green, Curtis Moseley, Garvin Bushell, Johnny Dunn, Dope Andrews, Ernest Elliot, Porter Grainger, Leroy Parker, Bob Fuller, and (June 1922-January 1923) Coleman Hawkins, Everett Robbins, Johnny Dunn, Herschel Brassfield, Herb Flemming, Buster Bailey Cutie Perkins, Joe Smith, Bubber Miley and Cecil Carpenter.

While recording with her Jazz Hounds, she also recorded as "Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Band", comprising George Bell, Charles Matson, Nathan Glantz, Larry Briers, Jules Levy, Jr., Joe Samuels, together with musicians from the Jazz Hounds, including Coleman, Fuller and Carpenter.

Film career and later years

Mamie Smith appeared in an early sound film, Jailhouse Blues, in 1929. She retired from recording and performing in 1931. She returned to performing in 1939 to appear in the motion picture Paradise in Harlem produced by her husband Jack Goldberg.

She appeared in other films, including Mystery in Swing, Sunday Sinners (1940), Stolen Paradise (1941), Murder on Lenox Avenue (1941), and Because I Love You (1943).


Mamie Robinson Smith died in 1946, aged 63, in Staten Island, New York.


Crazy Blues
Mamie Smith Blues
Don't Care Blues
That Thing Called Love
U" Need Some Lovin' Blues
Doo-Dah Blues
Arkansas Blues
My Sportin' Man
Mem'ries of You Mammy
If You Don't Want Me Blues
Lovin' Sam From Alabam
Dem Knock-Out-Blues
A Wearin' Away The Blues
Mean Daddy Blues
Goin' Crazy With The Blues
Frankie Blues
It's Right Here For You
The Wang - Wang Blues
You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
Get Hot
Let's Agree To Disagree
The Road Is Rocky
Golfing Papa
The Lure Of The South
Fare Thee Honey Blues
Don't You Advertise Your Man
Keep A Song In Your Soul
Mean Man
Lonesome Mama Blues
I'm Free - Single - Disengaged - Looking For Someone To Love
Do It - Mr So-and-So


Mamie Smith Wikipedia

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