Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY

Thursday, 17 October 2013

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN " BIG MAYBELLE " REAL NAME MABEL LOUISE SMITH -HER MOUNTAINOUS STATURE MATCHING THE SHEER SOULFUL POWER OF HER MASSIVE VOCAL TALENT WAS ONE OF THE PREMIER R&B CHANTEUSES OF THE 1950s : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "

                                         BLACK                     SOCIAL                  HISTORY                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Her mountainous stature matching the sheer soulful power of her massive vocal talent, Big Maybelle was one of the premier R&B chanteuses of the 1950s. Her deep, gravelly voice was as singular as her recorded output for Okeh and Savoy, which ranged from down-in-the-alley blues to pop-slanted ballads. In 1967, she even covered ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears" (it was her final chart appearance). Alleged drug addiction leveled the mighty belter at the premature age of 47, but Maybelle packed a lot of living into her shortened lifespan.
Born Mabel Louise Smith, the singer strolled off with top honors at a Memphis amateur contest at the precocious age of eight. Gospel music was an important element in Maybelle's intense vocal style, but the church wasn't big enough to hold her talent. In 1936, she hooked up with Memphis bandleader Dave Clark; a few years later, Maybelle toured withthe International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She debuted on wax with pianist Christine Chatman's combo on Decca in 1944, before signing with Cincinnati's King Records in 1947 for three singles of her own backed by trumpeter Hot Lips Page's band.
Producer Fred Mendelsohn discovered Smith in the Queen City, re-christened her Big Maybelle, and signed her to Columbia's OKeh R&B subsidiary in 1952. Her first Okeh platter, the unusual "Gabbin' Blues" (written by tunesmith Rose Marie McCoy and arranger Leroy Kirkland) swiftly hit, climbing to the upper reaches of the R&B charts. "Way Back Home" and "My Country Man" made it a 1953 hat trick for Maybelle and OKeh. In 1955, she cut a rendition of "Whole Lot of Shakin' Goin' On" a full two years before Louisiana piano pumper Jerry Lee Lewis got his hands and feet on it. Mendelsohn soon brought her over to Herman Lubin sky's Savoy diskery, where her tender rendition of the pop chestnut "Candy" proved another solid R&B hit in 1956. Maybelle rocked harder than ever at Savoy, her "Ring Dang Dilly," "That's a Pretty Good Love," and "Tell Me Who" benefiting from blistering backing by New York's top sessioneers. Her last Savoy date in 1959 reflected the changing trends in R&B; Howard Biggs' stately arrangements encompassed four violins. Director Bert Stern immortalized her vivid blues-belting image in his documentary Jazz on a Summer's Day, filmed in color at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.
Maybelle persevered throughout the '60s, recording for Brunswick, Scepter (her "Yesterday's Kisses" found her coping admirably with the uptown soul sound), Chess, Rojac (source of "96 Tears"), and other labels. But the good years were long gone when she slipped into a diabetic coma and passed away in a Cleveland hospital in 1972



.Mabel Louise Smith  May 1, 1924 – January 23, 1972  known professionally as Big Maybelle, was an American R&B singer and pianist. Her 1956 hit single "Candy" received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.

Born in Jackson, Tennessee, United States, Big Maybelle sang gospel as a child and by her teens 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. She then joined Christine Chatman's Orchestra as pianist, and made her first recordings with Chatman in 1944, and with the Tiny Bradshaw's Orchestra from 1947 to 1950.]

Her debut solo recordings, as Mabel Smith, came for King Records in 1947, backed by Oran "Hot Lips" Page, but she had little initial success. However, in 1952 she was signed by Okeh Records, whose record producer Fred Mendelsohn gave her the stage name Big Maybelle. Her first recording for Okeh, "Gabbin' Blues", was a number 3 hit on the Billboard R&B chart, and was followed up by both "Way Back Home" and "My Country Man" in 1953. In 1955 she recorded "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On", produced by Quincy Jones, two years before Jerry Lee Lewis's version. More hits followed throughout the 1950s, mainly for Savoy Records, including "Candy" (1956), one of her biggest sellers.
She made the stage of the Apollo Theater in New York City; the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival; and she appeared in Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960), filmed at the Newport Jazz Festival, along with Mahalia Jackson and Dinah Washington. After 1959 she recorded for a variety of labels but the hits largely dried up. She continued to perform in person into the early 1960s, when drug addiction and health problems took their toll on her. Her last hit single was in 1967 with a cover of "96 Tears" by Question Mark & the Mysterians
Big Maybelle died in a diabetic coma in 1972, in Cleveland, Ohio. She was survived by her only child Barbara Smith and a host of grandchildren.[1] Her final album, Last of Big Maybelle, was released posthumously in 1973.
The album The Okeh Sessions on the Epic label, won the 1983 W. C. Handy Award, for "Vintage or Reissue Album of the Year (U.S.)." In 2011, she was inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame.[