Hot Lips CoEd In Death
Joe Smith's Meteoric Career Ends In New York Asylum; Top Trumpeter Born And Reared Here
Death has muted the torrid trum-,, That was the high-light of Smith's pet of Joseph Emery Smith, former life._^
Ripley resident whom Billboard re- From then on, success was his. fers to it in its current issue as "one | There followed in swift sucaession cf the greatest Negro musicians of ; engagements with Fletcher Hender-
' all iimes."
Smith died, broken in mind and body, in an insane asylum in Central
son's Band—tops at that time—with ; pit orchestras for such nationally-1 known revues as "Dixie to Broad-'
Islip, N. Y. He was 36 years old. jway", "Chocolate Dandies", and!
I He was completely burned out; "Blackbirds", Cotint Basic's Band, |
from the fast pace of a rocketing as- McKinney's Cotton Packers and I
cent to the top of the musical world Bennie Moten. j
'and several years of grueling work i Made Many Records !
I with headline entertainers <in the i Smith played in the recording of
country's foremost theatres, night ihundreds.of records and shared hon-'.
clubs and radio stations. |ors with Bessie Smith on more than ,
The fnan died Dec. 2, but news of -30 discs. * j
his death did not reach here until Everywhere Joe appeared he was .
this week. ^recognized as master musician, .par- i
Home Was Here .ticularly in playing "hot" music. His |
Smith was bom in Ripley, one of high notes were said to be as keen
a family of musicians. He was a son ^and clear as ever were blown. .
o" the lajte Mr. and Mrs. Luke Smith. "TpotsV,Vs he was known locally, at¬ tended the Ripley Schools and lived
"Toots" was one of six children, two of whom, Luke and Stanley, preceded him in death. The other ]
here until young manhood, when he .four, "Doonie", Charles, Russell and j left to take the first of a series of Carpathia, all survive. They live in, steps that eventually made him New York. RusseUVisited here last | known from coast to coast, ! summer.
It was in 1931 that Joe made ^0k.S'"^^^'s father and Stanley, Russ- I
tirst big-time connection. ^H^ ^^^ Luke were all musicians. '
He joined Ethel Water's Band as^Eike was a trumpeter, Stanley and , a drmmner, but soon showed so |Rufisell, played the trombone, and much talent on the trumpet that the the senior Smith was a band organ- Sepia\ Songstress prevailed upon him izer. They were all good, but none of
'to abandon his drums and became a,them attained the prominence of
Itnimpeter, .^ ,'-Toots". "
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