Mabel Louise Smith, 1 May 1924, Jackson, Tennessee, USA, d. 23 January 1972, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Maybelle was discovered singing in church by Memphis band leader Dave Clark in 1935. When Clark disbanded his orchestra to concentrate on record promotion, Smith moved to Christine Chatmans orchestra with whom she first recorded for Decca Records in 1944. Three years later, Smith made solo records for King and in 1952 she recorded as Big Maybelle when producer Fred Mendelsohn signed her to OKeh Records, a subsidiary of CBS Records. Her blues shouting style (a female counterpart to Big Joe Turner) brought an R&B hit the next year with Gabbin Blues (a cleaned-up version of the dirty dozens on which she was partnered by songwriter Rose Marie McCoy). Way Back Home and My Country Man were also bestsellers. In 1955, she made the first recording of Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On,...
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