Aug. 10, 1920
Perry Bradford was born in Montgomery and left a legacy as a songwriter, bandleader, promoter and composer. Bradford is credited with breaking down racial barriers and helped shape American popular music with his recordings of the blues. On this day in 1920, Bradford created the first-ever blues recording by a black singer, a song called “Crazy Blues” that he composed. Bradford recorded singer Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Hounds in New York. The record became a hit, selling over 1 million copies. Bradford helped popularize black jazz and the blues, which influenced other genres such as rock ‘n’ roll.
Read more at the Timeline of Jazz History.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.