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Pinetop Smith

Among the traveling forces at the rear of the arrival of boogie-woogie piano, Clarence “Pine Best” Smith rates being among the most influential blues numbers from the 1920s. Created January 11, 1904, in Troy, AL, he grew up in close by Birmingham; a self-taught participant, he began carrying out at area home parties during his mid-teens, and after relocating to Pittsburgh followed Ma Rainey and Butterbeans & Susie. Around the guidance of fellow pianist Cow Cow Davenport — himself a seminal physique in boogie-woogie’s advancement — Smith relocated to Chicago in 1928, where he resided in exactly the same house home as Meade “Lux” Lewis and Albert Ammons, circumstances that led to regular all-night jam classes; there, he also produced a name for himself around the city’s house-rent party and golf club circuits. While boogie-woogie’s precise origins certainly are a secret, Smith’s dynamic “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” (slice during his 1st Vocalion label classes in 1928) designated the very first known usage of the term on record, and its own lyrics — a cry of “Keep it right now/Quit/Boogie Woogie!” — became the template for just about any number of following piano music. Another recording program adopted in early 1929, but simply weeks afterwards, on March 15, Smith’s shiny career found an abrupt halt when he was shot and wiped out by way of a stray bullet throughout a dancehall fracas; he was simply 25 during his death, abandoning a legacy of just 11 recorded paths.

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