Big Maybelle Vinyl Records Lps For Sale

Check out these new and used Big Maybelle vinyl records LPs for sale. Big Maybelle, whose birth name was Mabel Louise Smith, was born in Tennessee in 1924. She sang in church as a child, and switched over to R&B in her teens. Her professional career started in 1936 with Dave Clark’s Memphis Band, and eventually recorded her first solo record for King Records in 1947. She didn’t really make a name for herself, however, until she recorded with Okeh Records in 1952. She earned the moniker Big Maybelle at this time from producer Fred Mendelson. She ended up with Savoy Records in 1955 and continued to release popular albums and singles. Her career declined after 1959 and her last single was a cover of 96 Tears in 1967. We recommend starting your Big Maybelle vinyl collection with Got a Brand New Bag from 1967. Our inventory is constantly changing, so check back often, or browse our list of vinyl from blues musicians.

Big Maybelle Gabbin Blues Lp Vinyl

Big Maybelle: The Empress of the Blues and R&B

Big Maybelle, born Mabel Louise Smith on May 1, 1924, in Jackson, Tennessee, was an electrifying and influential figure in the world of blues and rhythm and blues (R&B) music. Her powerful, soulful voice, dynamic stage presence, and impactful recordings have left an indelible mark on the music landscape, cementing her legacy as one of the queens of these genres.

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

Big Maybelle’s early life was marked by her family’s deep love for music. She grew up in Jackson, Tennessee, and was exposed to gospel, blues, and jazz from an early age. Her exceptional vocal talent was evident from childhood, and she honed her skills by singing in the church choir.

Transition to New York and Musical Career

In the late 1930s, Big Maybelle moved to New York City, a pivotal decision that would shape her musical career. In the vibrant atmosphere of the city’s clubs and theaters, she began performing in a variety of settings, including jazz and gospel groups. Her commanding voice and engaging stage presence soon caught the attention of audiences and fellow musicians.

Recording Success and Signature Songs

Big Maybelle’s recording career took off in the 1950s, when she signed with Okeh Records. She became known for her bluesy, emotional delivery and her ability to infuse every note with heart-wrenching depth. Songs like “Candy” and “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On” became signature pieces that showcased her vocal prowess.

Her cover of “Candy” in 1956 became a major hit, propelling her to greater recognition and success. The song’s sultry, jazzy, and soulful qualities made it a classic in the R&B genre and a staple in her repertoire.

Influence on R&B and Soul

Big Maybelle’s influence on R&B and soul music was profound. Her emotive vocal style, which blended elements of blues and gospel, served as an inspiration to artists who followed, including the likes of Aretha Franklin and Etta James. Her ability to convey deep emotions through her music set a standard for the soul genre.

Live Performances and Engaging Stage Presence

Big Maybelle’s live performances were electrifying and unforgettable. Her powerful voice and charismatic stage presence captivated audiences. She had the remarkable ability to connect with her listeners on a deep emotional level, making each performance a memorable experience.

Struggles and Resilience

Throughout her life, Big Maybelle faced personal challenges, including health issues and substance abuse problems. Despite these difficulties, she continued to perform and record, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to her music.

Late Career and Passing

Big Maybelle continued to perform and record into the 1970s, maintaining her dedication to her craft. She passed away on January 23, 1972, leaving behind a legacy that continues to resonate with fans of blues, R&B, and soul music.


Big Maybelle’s enduring legacy is marked by her exceptional vocal talent, her ability to connect with audiences on a deep emotional level, and her profound influence on the R&B and soul genres. Her contributions to the world of music, particularly her signature songs like “Candy,” have secured her place as one of the queens of blues and R&B. Big Maybelle remains a testament to the enduring power of music to convey emotion and connect people through the soulful art of song.

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