Crazy Blues

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"Crazy Blues"
Written Perry Bradford
Original artist Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds (1920)

"Crazy Blues" is a song written by Perry Bradford. It was recorded on August 10, 1920, by Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds and released that year on a grammophone record by Okeh Records, catalogue 4169. The famous stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith appears in photos associated with the recording session, although Perry Bradford claims to have played piano on the recording (albeit buried in the mix).[1]Within a month of release, it had sold 75,000 copies.[2] Although there were many recordings made of songs with blues in the title during the previous decade, this recording is considered a landmark as the very first blues record ever issued.[3] However, Crazy Blues is not actually a blues tune in that it does not follow the harmonic structure generally associated with true blues. It was ushered into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994. In Episode 10, Season 1 of Boardwalk Empire, the 1920 Mamie Smith version of the song was used.[4]

The first commercial blues recording was Mamie Smith's performance of Perry Bradford's "Crazy Blues" in 1920.

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  1. ^ []. David A. Jansen. Liner notes to Perry Bradford: Pioneer of the Blues. Folkways Album No. FJ 2863. Folkways Records & Service Corp.
  2. ^ Ted Gioia. Delta Blues. ISBN 978-0-393-33750-1. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2008, p. 38.
  3. ^ /firstbluesrecords.html The First Blues Records 1914-1916 retrieved 12/02/11
  4. ^ HBO: Boardwalk Empire: S 1 EP 10: Music retrieved 10/19/12

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