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Harry Smith

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Hipsters will have palpitations examining the list of performers recording engineer Harry Smith set up his microphones for, a cool catalog that includes bebop giant Charlie Parker. Harry Smith Studios in 1947 was the spot where saxophonist Parker made one of his few studio recordings in the company of amazing bop pianist Bud Powell. Smith documented Parker once again in the following year, this time with John Lewis on piano and the first time an acetate disc had been used in a recording session. History had already been made in the Smith studios a decade earlier when a runt of a guy who had been hanging around with the recording band asked to sing a song, "Our Love" to be exact, during some leftover studio time. This turned to be the first recording ever made of a fairly popular vocalist named Frank Sinatra. Located in a small room across the street from New York City's Carnegie Hall, the facility was more properly known as Harris Smith Studios. There is a misconception that this Smith is the same man who was both a director of experimental films as well as the creator of one of the great folk music anthologies -- but that Harry Smith would have been still a teenager at the time of the Sinatra recording. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

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Birth Name:

Harry Everett Smith


29 May 1923 in Portland, OR

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Influenced by this Artist