Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States
|Died||February 2, 1935
Detroit, Michigan, United States
|Genres||Classic female blues|
Clara Smith (c. 1894 - February 2, 1935) was an American classic female blues singer. She was billed as the "Queen of the Moaners", even though she had a lighter and sweeter voice than many of her contemporaries. She was not related to the singers Bessie Smith and Mamie Smith.
Smith was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. In 1910 she began working on African-American theater circuits and in tent shows and vaudeville. By the late 1918 she was appearing as a headliner at the Lyric Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana and on the Theater Owners Bookers Association circuit.
In 1923 she settled in New York, appearing at cabarets and speakeasies there; that same year she made the first of her commercially successful series of gramophone recordings for Columbia Records, for which she recorded 122 songs, working with many other musicians such as Fletcher Henderson and Louis Armstrong, and Don Redman. She recorded two duets with Bessie Smith, "My Man Blues" and "Far Away Blues" (Columbia 14098-D), on September 1, 1925. She recorded Tom Delaney's "Troublesome Blues" in 1927.