Personalities | Sara Martin | Early Years | Jazz & Blues

(Vocals, 1884–1955)

Martin, an early classic blues singer, was signed by Clarence Williams for OKeh Records in 1922, at the beginning of the blues craze. While she was a pop-style singer, she was also able to pitch the blues in a rough-and-ready way. She recorded with Williams-led jazz groups, with such illustrious accompanists as King Oliver and Sidney Bechet (on some sessions she sang as ‘Margaret Johnson’ or ‘Sally Roberts’).

Martin was often accompanied by Thomas Morris (cornet) and Charlie Irvis (trombone), both blues specialists. On ‘Death Sting Me Blues’ (1928), Martin matches Joe ‘King’ Oliver’s intensity, and on ‘Atlanta Blues’ (1923) she delivers the old folk melody with great dignity. Her diction was clear, and she had a good ear for plangent blues that were not over-worn. In 1929, she appeared on film with the immortal Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson in Hello Bill. She left showbusiness in the Depression and returned to Louisville.

Styles & Forms | Early Years | Jazz & Blues
Personalities | New Orleans Rhythm Kings | Early Years | Jazz & Blues

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Jazz & Blues, founding editor Howard Mandel


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.