It was the year 1920. One of the more important events in the annals of popular music in the United States occurred 100 years ago this month. Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds’ recording of Perry Bradford‘s tune “Crazy Blues” became an instant hit and was the first significant recording in the blues genre. And Mamie herself was also the first African American female popular singer to lead a commercial recording. This week on Deeper Roots we celebrate with the first installment of a show featuring two hours of music including two very special guests: Gillian and Gary Atkinson, proprietors of Document Records in the UK. I had a chance to interview the two about the label and about the dawn of blues and jazz recording including the early century social impact of black artists. A very special opportunity offered for a very special time.
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