Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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SMITH, Joe

(b 28 June '02, Ripley OH; d 2 Dec. '37, NYC) Trumpet. His father led a big brass band in Cincinnati, Ohio; six brothers also played trumpet, several professionally incl. Russell (1890-1966), a sperb lead player. Joe played with Fletcher Henderson off and on from c '21 (with Black Swan Masters), '25-8 full time (Russell also from '25), again in '30, '33; also with Mamie Smith's Jazz Hounds, Noble Sissle-Eubie Blake show Chocolate Dandies '24, recorded with Bessie Smith, worked with McKinney's Cotton Pickers '29- 30, again '31-2; lived in Kansas City and probably worked with Bennie Moten, but suffered from ill health. Like Tommy Ladnier one of the greatest of his era who died too young; many fine solos survive on records.