Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

Big Maybelle

Big Maybelle was a top selling performer from the Golden Age of R&B, who could interpret rousing carousing dance music, and bring it all back down with a tender haunting ballad.

Born Maybelle Louis Smith in Jackson, Tennessee, she grew up singing in the local Sanctified Church choir in Jackson. Full-figured and commanding, Big Maybelle sang the blues with controlled abandon and a flair for style. In 1932, she won first prize at the Cotton Carnival singing cabaret in Memphis, then toured with an all girl band called the Sweethearts of Rhythm. They played dances from Mississippi to Indiana.

From 1936 to 1940, she toured with the Christine Chatman Orchestra and in 1944 she recorded with Christine on the Decca Label. During the 1950s, Maybelle sang with The Quincy Jones Orchestra, the Kelly Owens Orchestra, and the Danny Mendelsohn Orchestra.

Read more

1 Photos

Albums

[no cover]
The Last Of Big...
Screwgun Records
1996
buy
The Complete Okeh Sessions: 1952-55
The Complete Okeh...
Epic Records
1994
buy
[no cover]
Blues, Candy & Big...
Screwgun Records
1986
buy
[no cover]
Big Maybelle
Screwgun Records
1984
buy
[no cover]
The Okeh Sessions
Screwgun Records
1983
buy
[no cover]
Got A Brand New Bag
Screwgun Records
1967
buy

Videos

Similar

Louis Jordan Louis Jordan
sax, alto
Etta James Etta James
vocalist
Big Joe Turner Big Joe Turner
vocalist
Percy Mayfield Percy Mayfield
vocalist
Amos Milburn Amos Milburn
piano
Ruth Brown Ruth Brown
vocalist
LaVern Baker LaVern Baker
vocalist
Snooks Eaglin
guitar, electric
Roy Brown Roy Brown
vocalist
Jimmy McCracklin Jimmy McCracklin
vocalist

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.