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Smokey Hogg was a rural bluesman navigating a postwar era infatuated by R&B, but he got along quite nicely nonetheless, scoring a pair of major R&B hits in 1948 and 1950 and cutting a thick catalog for a slew of labels (including Exclusive, Modern, Bullet, Macy's, Imperial, Mercury, Recorded in Hollywood, Specialty, Fidelity, Combo, Federal, and Showtime).

During the early '30s, Hogg, who was influenced by Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw, worked with slide guitarist Black Ace at dances around Greenville, Texas. Hogg first recorded for Decca in 1937, but it was an isolated occurrence -- he didn't make it back into a studio for a decade. Once he hit his stride, though, Hogg didn't look back. Both his chart hits -- 1948's "Long Tall Mama" and 1950's "Little School Girl" -- were issued on Modern, but his rough-hewn sound seldom changed a whole lot no matter what L.A. logo he was appearing on. Hogg's last few sides were cut in 1958 for Lee Rupe's Ebb label. Smokey's cousin John Hogg also played the blues, recording for Mercury in 1951. ~ Bill Dahl, Rovi