Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tab Smith - You Belong To Me

The alto saxophonist Talmadge (Tab) Smith was born in Kinston, North Carolina, on January 11, 1909, and made his professional debut with the Carolina Stompers in 1929. In 1931 he joined Eddie Johnson and his Crackerjacks in St. Louis, and in later years he worked with Lucky Millinder and Count Basie. By the time he began recording, with Millinder in 1936, he was a saxophonist of high technical accomplishment working in the tradition of Johnny Hodges; he would keep his idol's signature portamento for the rest of his life. From 1944 through 1949 he fronted his own combo, recording for various small labels in New York area, including J. Mayo Williams' Southern company. Then he moved his base of operations back to St. Louis. Tab Smith enjoyed a little success with the faltering Premium label in early 1951 (the remnants were cannily snapped up by Chess when Premium went out of business). As soon as he could, Simpkins brought him over to the new label. When Smith joined United Records, his skill as an alto saxophonist was fully matured, and the result was a fine series of ballads, blues, and novelty numbers all superbly realized in full lush tone and masterful phrasing.
Smith released "You Belong To Me" on United Records in 1953.


  1. Researching Tab Smith on the anniversary of his birth (January 11, 1909 – August 17, 1971) I was directed via Google search to your wonderful site.
    I have borrowed your mp3 to help illustrate my humble post regarding Tab.
    I have credited the source as your good self.
    Regards, Bob

    1. Thanks for taking the time to visit the site and leave a comment. It makes doing this blog all worth while to hear how people are enjoying it.
      Come back soon.