Signed as a solo artist to Chess Records in 1951, Mabon immediately hit the big time with a novelty blues, "I Don't Know" (R&B number 1, 1952), a remake of a Cripple Clarence Lofton record from 1938. Mabon had other hits with "I'm Mad" "Poison Ivy" and "Seventh Son."
After leaving Chess in 1956, he continued to record on various small labels, achieving success on Formal in 1962 with "Got To Have Some". During the 70s and 80s, Mabon would flit back and forth between Chicago and Europe, making occasional albums for German and French labels, most of which were poorly received. He found a wider audience in Europe, playing the Montreux Jazz Festival and festivals in Berlin and Holland. He would pass in Paris, in 1986.
A polished performer, with a measure of glossy sophistication to his singing, Mabon retained a strong affinity with the earthier aspects of the blues and was an influence upon Mose Allison.
Source: James Nadal
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
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