Illinois or Indianapolis, United States
|Died||February 1932 (age 49)
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Genres||Classic female blues, country blues|
|1924-1927 (recording career)|
|Clarence Williams, Perry Bradford|
Laura Smith (March 1882 - February 1932) was an American classic female blues and country blues singer. Songs she recorded include "Gonna Put You Right in Jail" and her version of "Don't You Leave Me Here". She led Laura Smith and her Wild Cats and also worked with Clarence Williams and Perry Bradford. Details of her life outside the music industry are scanty.
The researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc state that she was born Loretta Bryant in Illinois in 1882. Other sources suggest that she was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, at an unknown date. In the early 1920s, she toured the Theater Owners Bookers Association circuit. Her recording career started in 1924 with Okeh and ended just three years later, when she recorded some tracks for Victor. The music journalist Scott Yanow noted that her earliest recordings were her strongest: "by the time she recorded 'Don't You Leave Me Here' in 1927, much of the power was gone". Her recordings include two songs, "The Mississippi Blues" and "Lonesome Refugee", about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. She recorded a total of 35 songs.
|Album title||Record label||Year of release|
|Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, vol. 1, 1924-1927, Laura Smith||Document Records||1996|
|Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, vol. 2, 1923-1927, Edna Hicks, Hazel Meyers, Laura Smith||Document Records||1996|