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GUEST,jj Obit: Passing of Mary Smith McClain (1902-2000) (6) RE: OBIT: Passing of Mary Smith McClain 21 Mar 04

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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