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Mamie Smith (née Robinson) (May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress, who appeared in several films late in her career. As a vaudeville singer she performed a number of styles including jazz and blues. She entered blues history by being the first African American artist to make vocal blues recordings in 1920. Willie "The Lion" Smith (not her husband) explained the background to that recording in his (ghosted) autobiography, Music on My… read more

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