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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!

1 comment:

  1. Hard times they tell me made a monkey eat a red pepper
    Let me tell you what they've done to a red hot stepper
    Hannah Johnson was a lucky farmerette till this depression
    Now she's lost most everything she had in her profession
    She didn't miss the cow, she didn't miss the chicken
    But when she had to sell her jack ass then she raised a bickin'
    She didn't mind the loss of peas nor horses nor hay
    The thing that her most was to hear the neighbors say

    Old Hannah Johnson's big black ass, is on the block for sale
    The way she worked that jack ass, it must be tough as a whale
    Every man in this county could ride it the best
    And harness or not you were safe on her jay
    Long distant riding the jack ass never tired
    It would work for nothing just as same as when high
    Hanna Johnson big jack ass is on the block for sale
    Hannah Johnson's big black ass, is on the block for sale
    They way she worked that tall old ass
    It must be tough as a whale
    When mounting, be gentle. You'll have no trouble
    She worked alright single, but wouldn't tote double
    If you're on her and a neighbour should pass
    Though you'd cover her head, they'd recognize her ass
    Hanna Johnson big jack ass is on the block for sale
    I'm still talkin' about, the mule was on the block for sale

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