Meet the American who first recorded the blues, nation’s original pop diva Mamie Smith
Mamie Smith set the tone for a new century of sound in global music.
The Cincinnati native was the first singer to record the blues.
It’s the foundational American music form upon which jazz, country, rhythm and blues and, most notably, rock ‘n’ roll are built.
“The blues are America’s gift to the world,” Indiana University professor emeritus and rock ‘n’ roll historian Glenn Gass told Fox News Digital.
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Smith wrapped the gift of raw American blues in a tidy bow of polished pop professionalism. She was the first artist to share music of the Mississippi Delta with a mainstream audience.
Her landmark recording was called “Crazy Blues.”
“I can’t sleep at night/I can’t eat a bite/’Cause the man I love/He don’t treat me right,” Smith laments, the tale of heartbreak and rhyming cadence familiar lyrical signatures of the blues.
The genre has proven its universal appeal.
She laid down the track with the backing band Her Jazz Hounds for OKeh records at 25 West 45th St. in Manhattan on August 10, 1920.
It sold 75,000 copies in its first month alone and generated up to $1 million in…
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