Smoky Babe

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Smoky Babe
Birth name Robert Brown
Born (1927-07-31)July 31, 1927
Itta Bena, Mississippi, United States
Died May 1973 (age 45) (probable)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States
Genres Louisiana blues, Piedmont blues
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1960s

Robert Brown (July 31, 1927 – May 1973),[1][2] who performed as Smoky Babe, was an American acoustic blues guitarist and singer, whose recording career was restricted to a couple of recording sessions in the early 1960s. He has been variously described as a Louisiana blues, Piedmont blues and blues revival musician.[3] His most noteworthy recordings are "Going Downtown Boogie" and "Ain't Got No Rabbit Dog".[2]


Brown was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi.[2] He was recorded by Harry Oster of Louisiana State University in 1960 and 1961,[4][5] and the results were released by the Folk Lyric, Bluesville and Storyville labels.[6]

Outside of his recordings little is known of his life. The circumstances of his death are unclear. Some sources report that he died in June 1975,[3] but the researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc have stated that he probably died in May 1973 in Scotlandville, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.[1]

His song "Boogy" is included on the compilation album Blues Roots: Give Me the Blues (1979),[7] and "Hottest Brand Goin'" and "Locomotive Blues" are included in the collection The Bluesville Years, Vol. 9: Down the Country Way (1998).[8]


  • Smoky Babe and His Friends: Hot Blues (1961), Folk-Lyric, 77 Records, Arhoolie
  • Hottest Brand Goin (1961), Bluesville
  • Smoky Babe, Herman E. Johnson, Louisiana Country Blues (1997), Arhoolie [6]
  • Smoky Babe: Way Back in the Country Blues (2014), Arhoolie


  1. ^ a b Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues: A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger. p. 198. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The 1970s". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  3. ^ a b Koda, Cub. "Smoky Babe: Biography". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  4. ^ Broven, John (1992). South to Louisiana (3rd ed.). Pelican Publishing. p. 117. ISBN 1-55553-355-8. 
  5. ^ "Big Road Blues – Part 2". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b Wirz, Stefan. "Illustrated Smoky Babe Discography". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  7. ^ Wirz, Stefan. "Illustrated Jim Brewer Discography". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  8. ^ Wirz, Stefan. "Illustrated Scrapper Blackwell Discography". Retrieved 2014-01-29. 

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