“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Jackson in Madison County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)

Mabel Louise "Big Maybelle" Smith

Mabel Louise "Big Maybelle" Smith Marker - two days prior to dedication image. Click for full size.
By Curtis Wise, July 22, 2019
1. Mabel Louise "Big Maybelle" Smith Marker - two days prior to dedication
Born circa 1924 in Jackson, Tennessee, "Big Maybelle" became a powerful Rhythm & Blues Singer. With her emotive delivery, and as one of the premier R&B chanteuses of the 1950s, she served as an essential link between raucous 1950s R&B and the soul sounds that emerged in the next decade. Her recordings include Candy, which received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999, and the original version of Whole Lot of Shakin Going On. Her career led her to sing at the famous Apollo Theatre in New York City. She died January 23, 1972 in Cleveland, Ohio, and later buried there in Evergreen Cemetery. In 2011 Smith was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4D 63.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Grammy Award Winners, and the Tennessee Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 35° 36.521′ N, 88° 49.02′ W. Marker is in Jackson, Tennessee, in Madison County. Marker is on U.S. 45 at milepost 11 south of Dr Martin Luther King Jr Drive, on the
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right when traveling south. Located across the street from the Main Post Office on Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jackson TN 38301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Butler Race Track c. 1825 / Memphis Conference Female Institute 1843-1923 (approx. mile away); Jackson Spoke Here (approx. mile away); First United Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Electro Chalybeate Well (approx. 0.3 miles away); Monroe Dunaway Anderson 1873-1939 / Anderson, Clayton & Company (approx. 0.4 miles away); Andersons & Claytons Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); David Crockett (approx. 0.4 miles away); Austin Raymond Merry (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jackson.
Also see . . .
1. Big Maybelle - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On (YouTube, 3 min., audio with still photos). (Submitted on July 22, 2019.)
2. “Big Maybelle” Receives Tennessee State Historical Marker ( (Submitted on July 22, 2019.)
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment

More. Search the internet for Mabel Louise "Big Maybelle" Smith.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2019. This page originally submitted on July 22, 2019, by Curtis Wise of Jackson, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on July 22, 2019, by Curtis Wise of Jackson, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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