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Obit: Passing of Mary Smith McClain (1902-2000)

harpgirl 05 Apr 00 - 09:57 AM
GUEST,jj 21 Mar 04 - 10:19 AM
katlaughing 22 Mar 04 - 10:11 AM
Amos 22 Mar 04 - 10:32 AM
keberoxu 13 Sep 21 - 10:24 PM
Stilly River Sage 13 Sep 21 - 11:53 PM
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Subject: OBIT: Passing: Mary Smith McClain
From: harpgirl
Date: 05 Apr 00 - 09:57 AM

Mary Smith McClain (Diamond Tooth Mary)died a few days ago..At 101 she is said to have been the oldest living blues performer...I remember her last performance at the Florida Folk Festival. She played through the rain and had her "tip jar" on the main stage, much to the consternation of festival officials! I'll try to paste her preliminary obituary, written by Ken Crawford, FFF organizer....or maybe Paul G. or Abby Sale might do so...harpgirl


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain
From: GUEST,jj
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 10:19 AM

McClain, who claimed to be Bessie Smith's half sister, sang in the "classic blues" style of the 1920's, glittering with spangles and beads, moving her hips aggressively, and adorning her teeth with Juicy Fruit foil. Before she retired in Bradenton, her career spanned 32 years of performing on the road as "Diamond Teeth Mary" with Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Fats Waller, among others.

from Barbara O'Reilly in "Florida Bound Blues"


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain
From: katlaughing
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:11 AM

Wow, she must've really been something! 101, amazing.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:32 AM

RIP -- I am ashamed that I haven't heard her sing. Anyone know if she recorded?

A


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain
From: keberoxu
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 10:24 PM

Bless her, but it appears her year/dates are
1902 - 2000,
which would have made her 98 years of age --
and clearly she lived many lives in one.


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Subject: RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 13 Sep 21 - 11:53 PM

Diamond Teeth Mary

"Diamond Teeth" Mary McClain (born Mary Smith, August 27, 1902 – April 4, 2000) was an American blues and gospel singer and vaudeville entertainer, whose career as a performer extended from the 1910s to the 1990s.


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