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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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Showing posts with label Mamie Smith. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mamie Smith. Show all posts

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Harlem Blues - Mamie Smith


Mamie Smith (née 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 (not her husband) explained the background to that recording in his (ghosted) autobiography, Music on My Mind.
Mamie Robinson was born probably 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 waiter named William "Smitty" Smith
On August 10, 1920, in New York City, Smith recorded a set of songs all written by the African American songwriter, Perry Bradford, including "Crazy Blues" and "It's Right Here For You (If You Don't Get It, 'Tain't No Fault of Mine)", on Okeh Records. It was the first recording of vocal blues by an African American artist, and the record became a best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year. To the surprise of record companies, 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. It also opened up the music industry to recordings by, and for, African Americans in other genres.

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 also 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 of Mamie Smith was soon one-upped by Bessie Smith, who called herself "The Empress of the Blues."
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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Crazy Blues - Mamie Smith


Mamie Smith (née 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 (not her husband) explained the background to that recording in his (ghosted) autobiography, Music on My Mind.
Mamie Robinson was born probably 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 waiter named William "Smitty" Smith
On August 10, 1920, in New York City, Smith recorded a set of songs all written by the African American songwriter, Perry Bradford, including "Crazy Blues" and "It's Right Here For You (If You Don't Get It, 'Tain't No Fault of Mine)", on Okeh Records. It was the first recording of vocal blues by an African American artist, and the record became a best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year. To the surprise of record companies, 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. It also opened up the music industry to recordings by, and for, African Americans in other genres.

Smith continued to make a series of popular recordings for Okeh throughout the 1920s. She also 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 of Mamie Smith was soon one-upped by Bessie Smith, who called herself "The Empress of the Blues."
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 further films, including Mystery in Swing, Sunday Sinners (1940), Stolen Paradise (1941), Murder on Lenox Avenue (1941), and Because I Love You (1943). She died in 1946, in New York.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Who's That Comin' - BBC series by Tony Palmer


All You Need Is Love: The Story of Popular Music is the name of a 17-part television documentary series on the history of modern pop music directed by Tony Palmer, originally broadcast worldwide between 1976 and 1980. The series covers the many different genres that have fallen under the "pop" label between the mid-19th century and 1976, including folk, ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, vaudeville and music hall, musical theater, country, swing, jazz, blues, R&B, rock 'n' roll and others. This is part 4 - the blues.
Memphis Slim, Lt. George W. Lee, Johnny and Verlina Woods, Roosevelt Sykes, W. C. Handy, Willie "The Lion" Smith, Blind Arvella Gray, Son House, Ray Charles, Mamie Smith, Victoria Spivey, Bessie Smith, John Hammond, George Melly, Muddy Waters, Lead Belly, John Lomax, Jimmy Dawkins, Mighty Joe Young, Billie Holiday, Barney Josephson, B.B. King, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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