Laura Smith

The life of blues singer Laura Smith is not a well-documented one. Born in Indianapolis, Smith toured the T.O.B.A. vaudeville circuit in the early '20s. She began a brief recording career in 1924 with Okeh, and finished with Victor three years later. Smith, part of blues unrelated-Smith girls (Bessie, Mamie, Clara and Trixie), recorded "Don't You Leave Me Here" in 1927, a decade before Jelly Roll Morton made it famous. Bandleader and pianist Clarence Williams, cornetist Tom Morris, trombonist Buddy Christian, and clarinetist Ernest Elliott all worked with Smith. She died of high blood pressure in Los Angeles in 1932. ~ Ron DePasquale

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