100 Years Ago Today- Mamie Smith Records Seminal Blues Track “Crazy Blues” & Music Changed Forever

100 years ago today (8/10/1920), Mamie Smith (1883-1946) recorded “Crazy Blues” an early blues hit that gave voice to outrage at violence against Black Americans. Smith at the time had made only one record prior, but this song spoke to Black listeners who had been abuses of race-hate groups, the police and military forces in the preceding year amidst 1919’s Red Summer. The song was enamed from the originally titled “Harlem Blues” song of 1918, written by Perry Bradford, but “Crazy Blues” became a hit record and it helped established the blues as a popular art form.

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