Mamie Smith (née Robinson) (May 26, 1883 – September 16, 1946) was an American vaudeville singer, dancer, pianist and actress, who appeared in several motion pictures 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.
On August 10, 1920, in New York, Smith recorded a set of songs all written by seasoned African-American songwriter Perry Bradford including "Crazy Blues" on Okeh Records. the record became an explosive best seller, selling a million copies in less than a year. To the surprise of record companies, large numbers of the record were purchased by African-Americans, and there was a sharp increase in the popularity of race records. Because of the historical significance of "Crazy Blues", it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994 and in 2005 was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
I can't sleep at night
I can't eat a bite
'cause the man I love
He don't treat me right.
He makes me feel so blue.
I don't know what to do.
Sometime I sit and sigh
And then begin to cry
'cause my best friend
Said his last goodbye.
There's a change in the ocean,
Change in the deep blue sea, my baby,
I'll tell yo,u folks, there ain't no change in me.
My love for that man will always be.
Now I can read his letters.
I sure can't read his mind.
I thought he's lovin' me.
He's leavin' all the time.
Now I see my poor love was blind.
Now I got the crazy blues since my baby went away.
I ain't got no time to lose.
I must find him today.
Now the doctor's gonna do all that he can.
But what you're gonna need is an undertaker man.
I ain't had nothin' but bad news.
Now I got the crazy blues.
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