Big Maybelle

Background information

Birth name       Mabel Louise Smith

Born     May 1, 1924

Jackson, Tennessee, U.S.

Died     January 23, 1972 (aged 47)

Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.

Genres R&B, blues, gospel

Occupation(s)   Vocalist

Years active      1936–1972

Labels  King Records, Okeh, Savoy, Epic, Brunswick, Scepter, Chess, Port, Rojac, Encore

Mabel Louise Smith (May 1, 1924 – January 23, 1972),[1] known professionally as Big Maybelle, was an American R&B singer. Her 1956 hit single “Candy” received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.[2]

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, on May 1, 1924, Big Maybelle sang gospel as a child; by her teens, she had switched to rhythm and blues. She began her professional career with Dave Clark’s Memphis Band in 1936, and also toured with the all-female International Sweethearts of Rhythm.[3] She then joined Christine Chatman’s Orchestra, and made her first recordings with Chatman in 1944, before recording with the Tiny Bradshaw’s Orchestra from 1947 to 1950.[4]

Her debut solo recordings, recorded as Mabel Smith, were for King Records in 1947,[5] where she was backed by Oran “Hot Lips” Page; however, she had little initial success

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