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Smiley Lewis

Smiley Lewis was one of the big R&B stars to come out New Orleans in the 1950’s. Born in DeQuincey, Louisiana, with the given name of Overton Lemons, he moved to New Orleans in his mid-teens, equipped with a big, booming voice and some guitar skills. he played clubs in the French Quarter, often with pianist Tuts Washington (and sometimes billed as “Smiling” Lewis). By 1947, his following was strong enough to merit a session for DeLuxe Records, which issued his debut 78, “Here Comes Smiley.” Then Lewis signed with Imperial in 1950, debuting with Tee-Nah-Nah and things began to move.

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