Crazy Blues

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"Crazy Blues"
Song by Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds (1920)
Written Perry Bradford

"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 stride pianist Willie "The Lion" Smith appeared in photographs associated with the recording session, although Perry Bradford claimed to have played piano on the recording (albeit buried in the mix). Within a month of release, it had sold 75,000 copies.[1] 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.[2] Another claimed that is was the first recording with a blues title by a black artist.[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. ^ Ted Gioia. Delta Blues. ISBN 978-0-393-33750-1. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2008, p. 38.
  2. ^ "The First Blues Records (1914-1916)". Retrieved 2015-08-29. 
  3. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 12. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  4. ^ "Boardwalk Empire: S 1 EP 10: Music". HBO. 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2015-08-29. 

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