Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
One of the classic blues Smith singers of the 1920s (although unrelated to Bessie, Clara and Mamie), Trixie Smith had a distinctive voice and a pleasing style of her own. She studied at Selma University, moved to New York in 1915, and performed in vaudeville and on the TOBA circuit. Smith worked in New York's theaters during the 1920s and '30s as an actress-singer and stayed active throughout her life. She recorded prolifically during 1922-25 for Black Swan and Paramount with her best-known dates resulting in four songs in 1925 in which Louis Armstrong was in her backup group; other sidemen along the way included James P. Johnson, Phil Napoleon and members of Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. Oddly enough Smith did not record after 1925 until 1938 when she headed an all-star jazz group (which included Sidney Bechet, Charlie Shavers and Sammy Price) on one session; in addition in 1939 she cut "No Good Man" with a band including Red Allen and Barney Bigard. But by the time she passed away at the age of 48 in 1943, Trixie Smith was largely forgotten.