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May 26, 1891

Mamie Smith the first Black artist to make vocal blues recordings was born.

Mamie Smith was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist, and actress. As a vaudeville singer she performed in various styles, including jazz and blues.

On August 10, 1920, Smith filled in for an ailing Sophie Tucker, a white singer, at a recording session for Okeh Records. One of the songs she cut that day, “Crazy Blues,” is widely viewed as the first Blues recording and entered blues history as the first Black artist to make vocal blues recordings.

Smith died in 1946 in New York, New York, reportedly penniless. She was interred in unmarked ground at Frederick Douglass Memorial Park on Staten Island until 2013, when a monument was finally erected.The monument was erected with great fanfare at Frederick Douglass Cemetery in Staten Island, New York, on September 20, 2013. Excess funds from the campaign were donated to the cemetery for grounds care. 

Mamie Smith – American Singer – Associated Links

Mamie Smith – American Singer -Related Articles:

  • “In 1920 Mamie Smith’s Crazy Blues paved the way for Black Music” | The Syncopated Times
  • “Mamie’s Smith’s ‘Crazy Blues’ Turns 100; Mamie Smith and the Birth of the “Blues Craze” | Mainspring Press
  • “Mamie Smith: Queen of the Blues in Cincinnati Music Hall” | Friends of Music Hall
  • “100 Years ago, ‘Crazy Blue’ sparked a Revolution for Black Women Fans” | The New York Times
  • “Mamie Smith the Birth of the Blues Market” | NPR
  • “American Roots Music: The Songs and the Artists – Mamie Smith” | PBS
Photo Credit: “100 Years ago, ‘Crazy Blue’ sparked a Revolution for Black Women Fans” |
The New York Times

Disclaimer: This content was prepared by the author in her personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, opinion, or position of their employer.”

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