Mamie Gardener began her career in show business as a dancer with the Four Dancing Mitchells. By 1910, Smith was touring the Midwest and East Coast with the Smart Set Company, a Black minstrel troupe. She married singer William “Smitty” Smith in 1912. The couple moved to New York where she began working as a cabaret dancer, pianist, and singer. Her first major break came in 1918, when she appeared in Perry Bradford’s musical “Made in Harlem.”
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