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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

For Sale (Hannah Johnson's Big Jack Ass) Blues - Clara Smith

Clara Smith (c. 1894 – February 2, 1935) was an American classic female blues singer. She was billed as the "Queen of the Moaners", although Smith actually had a lighter and sweeter voice than her contemporaries and main competitors Smith was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. In her youth she worked on African American theater circuits and tent shows. By the late 1910s she was appearing as a headliner at the Lyric Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana and on the T.O.B.A. circuit. In 1923 she settled in New York, appearing at cabarets and speakeasies there; that same year she made the first of her commercially successful series of gramophone recordings for Columbia Records, for whom she would continue recording through to 1932. She cut 122 songs often with the backing of top musicians (especially after 1925) including Louis Armstrong, Charlie Green, Joe Smith, Freddy Jenkins, Fletcher Henderson and James P. Johnson (in 1929). Plus she recorded two vocal duets with Bessie Smith, and four with Lonnie Johnson. The comparisons with near namesake Bessie Smith were inevitable. Clara Smith was on the whole less fortunate than Bessie in her accompanists, and her voice was less imposing but, to some tastes, prettier, and many of her songs were interesting (and she was the second best seller on Columbia's 14000-D series, behind Bessie Smith). In 1933 she moved to Detroit, Michigan, and worked at theaters there until her hospitalization in early 1935 for heart disease, of which she died. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

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