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Sara Martin

Although overshadowed in the annals of blues history by her contemporaries Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and Bessie Smith, Sara Martin was a true pioneer in her own right as a performer and recording artist. Martin was a popular vaudeville act on the Theater Owners' Booking Association (TOBA) circuit that showcased African-American artists, and she also enjoyed a prolific career as a recording artist on the OKeh and Columbia labels.

In the 1920s she made well over 100 records on those labels, often recording songs she co-wrote, such as “Mean Tight Mama” and “Mama's Got the Blues.” Martin also worked with some of the other early blues giants of the day, such as W.C. Handy, “Georgia Tom” Dorsey, and Fats Waller, before leaving the blues scene in the early 1930s.

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