Laura Smith

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Laura Smith (unknown February 1932) was an American classic female blues and country blues singer. She is best known for her recordings of 'Gonna Put You Right In Jail' and her version of 'Don't You Leave Me Here'. She led Laura Smith and her Wild Cats, and worked with Clarence Williams and Perry Bradford. Details of her life outside of the music industry are scanty.

BiographyLaura Smith

Smith was probably born in Indianapolis, Indiana, although her date of birth is unknown. What is certain is that in the early part of the 1920s, Smith toured the T.O.B.A. circuit. Her recording career started in 1924 with Okeh, and she finished it just three years later by recording some tracks for Victor. Music journalist, Scott Yanow, noted that her earliest recordings were her strongest, 'by the time she recorded 'Don't You Leave Me Here' in 1927, much of the power was gone'. Her recordings included two songs, 'The Mississippi Blues' and 'Lonesome Refugee', which were both written about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

She was seen as part of the unrelated set of Smith women (Mamie, Bessie, Clara and Trixie) who all recorded blues songs. In total, thirty five numbers were recorded by Laura Smith. It was reported that by 1926, Smith was married to a comedian, Slim Jones, and to be living in Baltimore.

Her most notable number, 'Don't You Leave Me Here' was, some ten years later, made more famous by a version recorded by Jelly Roll Morton.

Laura Smith died of the long term effects of hypertension, in February 1932 in Los Angeles.

All her available recordings have been made released on CD by Document Records (see below). She is not to be confused with the latter-day, Canadian folk singer-songwriter, of the same name.

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