Rock created the music publications we read today, R&B created rock, blues created R&B, and Mamie Smith made the blues a national sensation. In the summer of 1920, a small label called Okeh Records recorded Smith singing a rendition of Perry Bradford’s “Crazy Blues.” The record was an overnight sensation among Black working-class consumers, catalyzing a series of reactions by the record industry that would change popular culture forever. As Angela Davis pointed out in her book, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, Smith’s success simultaneously led record companies to finally consider the tastes of Black consumers (while pigeonholing them into segregated buyer categories) and producing the music of Black women musicians. As blindly rooted in profit as these corporate labels’ reactions were, the ultimate impact was that rock ‘n’ roll and some of our biggest music icons’ signature sounds originated in Black communities—often Black women musicians, specifically. Because of Mamie Smith’s success, the country’s biggest record labels rushed to sign Black women musicians such as Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Ethel Waters, Gladys Bentley, and Bessie Smith (no relation to Mamie Smith), who a teenaged Billie Holiday listened to before moving to Harlem and singing in the nightclub where Benny Goodman discovered her. The rest is history—or as Frank Sinatra put it in a 1958 interview with Ebony, “Lady Day [Billie Holiday] is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last twenty years.” Little could he know that, as was finally acknowledged in 2000 by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Holiday’s genealogy of sound extends to today.