His series of recordings for Brunswick Records in 1929 are his most famous, and Smith was billed as a rival to Louis Armstrong. In March 1935 in Chicago, Smith was featured in a recording session produced by Helen Oakley under the name of Charles LaVere & His Chicagoans, which included a vocal by both Smith and LaVere on LaVere's composition and arrangement of "Boogaboo Blues". It an example inter-racial blues recordings, although far from the first as such had been made at least since c. 1921. In the 1930s, Smith moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin which would be his main base for many years, alternating with returns to New York. In Milwaukee he collaborated with saxophonist Bill Johnson.
Subsequently, Smith dropped out of the public eye, playing music part time in Milwaukee with a regular job at an automobile hire company. Jabbo Smith made a comeback starting in the late 1960s. Many young musicians, fans, and record collectors were surprised to learn that the star of those great 1920s recordings was still alive. Smith successfully played with bands and shows in New York, New Orleans, Louisiana, London, and France through the 1970s and into the 1980s. Read more on Last.fm.
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