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Episode #652 – Big Maybelle

Air Week: October 31-November 6, 2022

Big Maybelle

Big MaybelleThe “Juke In The Back” highlights the often ignored early career of Big Maybelle, one of the great female blues shouters. She was born Mabel Louise Smith in 1929 and cut her first record with Christine Chatman’s Orchestra for Decca in 1944. Mabel Smith made her first solo recordings for King in 1947 before being signed to Okeh Records by Fred Mendelsohn in 1952. He renamed her Big Maybelle and she hit the R&B charts right out of the gate with her first Okeh release, “Gabbin’ Blues.” Maybelle would score a few more hits for them before following Mendelsohn over to Savoy Records in 1956. That year, she hit the national spotlight with her interpretation of the standard, “Candy.” Matt The Cat reviews the vocal power and soul of this truly original blueswoman, Big Maybelle, on this week’s “Juke In The Back.”


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