Big Maybelle, born in 1926, in Jackson, Tennessee, as Mabel Smith, recorded with Christine Chatman's Orchestra in 1944 until her solo debut in 1947 on King Records. A big-voiced blues shouter, 1952 saw her as 'Big Maybelle' with Okeh, and 1953 brought three R&B Top Ten hits including `Gabbin' Blues'. She moved to Savoy in 1956 and 'Candy' became another R&B hit, but the late Fifties saw a steady output of ballads and jump-blues fail to make further com-mercial impact. The Sixties brought moves to Brunswick, Scepter, Rojac, Port and Chess, then a return to Rojac in 1966 brought success when 'Don't Pass Me By' and '96 Tears' were R&B hits, the latter giving Maybelle her only national 'pop' hit. Apart from one disc on Brunswick in 1968, she remained with Rojac until her death in January 1972.