Analysis Of The Song ' Crazy Blues '

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Ryan Henderson Professor Johnson From The Phonograph to the Autotune Cylinder Report 2/8/15 Title of Recording: Crazy Blues Artist: Noble Sissle UCSB Cylinder Number: 9806 “Crazy Blues” by Noble Sissle is a cover of the song originally written by Perry Bradford. This timeless piece of history was first recorded on August 10th, 1920 by Mamie Smith and later released on as a vinyl record by Okeh Records.3 Smith’s version of the song was wildly successful, selling 75,000 copies in the first month following its release. Within a year, the record had sold over a million copies, and in all, two million copies were purchased.4 After its incredible success, recording companies rushed to record other African American singers. Noble Sissle’s version was recorded later that same year, and had similar success. Despite the large quantity of blues recordings during the 1920’s, “Crazy Blues” is considered the first successful blues song recorded by an African American artist.9 Ironically, “Crazy Blues” is considered more of a popular song than a blues song despite many references to “blues” throughout the track. Nevertheless, this song paved the way for black music makers into a then predominately-white recording industry, and quickly after its release, a market for black music emerged. Perry Bradford, who wrote “Crazy Blues”, also persuaded several record companies to invest in a music market specifically for blacks.9 After record companies realized the lucrativeness of selling “race
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