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Crazy Blues: The Best of Mamie Smith

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Album Review

Simply put, this is the most extensive collection of Mamie Smith sides on one disc that is available in 2004. It goes much farther than the Classic Blues Essential disc. Between the years 1920-1931 when recording for OKeh, Mamie Smith & Her Jazz Hounds were kindred spirits to Louis Armstrong's Hot Five and Seven, though her sound is far more indicative of the music of the Harlem Renaissance than New Orleans. Sophisticated, hard-swinging, and full of the lilt of cabaret music as well as the down-home roughhouse blues, Mamie Smith had to be the first female blues superstar. This is elegant from top to bottom and offers new acquaintances a view of the blues far from its country origins and tightly woven with jazz. Amazing.


Born: May 26, 1883 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s

Though technically not a blues performer, Mamie Smith notched her place in American music as the first black female singer to record a vocal blues. That record was "Crazy Blues" (recorded August 10, 1920), which sold a million copies in its first six months and made record labels aware of the huge potential market for "race records"; thus paving the way for Bessie Smith (no relation) and other blues and jazz performers. An entertainer who sported a powerful, penetrating, feminine voice with belting...
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Top Albums and Songs by Mamie Smith

Crazy Blues: The Best of Mamie Smith, Mamie Smith
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Vocal, Music, Blues, Jazz, Pop, Chicago Blues
  • Released: May 03, 2004

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