Ida Cox

Ida Cox, born February 25, 1896 and died November 10, 1967 in New York City. She was an African American singer, vaudeville performer and musician best known for her recordings and blues performances. Her nickname was “The Uncrowned Queen of the Blues”. Cox was born February 1896 in Toccoa in Habersham County in Georgia. (Toccoa was not yet Stephens County at that time). She was the daughter of Lamax Prather and Susie Knight Prather and grew up singing in the local African Methodist Church Choir. In the 1910s, she traveled with minstrel acts and often wore blackface. She later married Adler Cox. She was a headline act at Atlanta’s 81 Theatre by 1920. Jelly Roll Morton was also a headliner at that time. Record labels recognized the need for recordings of race music after Mamie Smith’s 1920 pioneering recording of “Crazy Blues” was a success. The classic female blues era was beginning, and it would continue into the 1920s. Cox recorded numerous records for Paramount Records from 1923 to 1929. She also headlined tours, sometimes called the “Sepia Mae West”, and continued into the 1930s. She also managed Her Raisin’ Cain Company and IdaCox during the 1920s. She played with Ibrahim Khalil at one point in her career. He was a Native American musician who belonged to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. “Baby Earl Palmer” started her career in show business in the 1930s as a tap dancer for Cox’s Darktown Skandals Review. She was a regular at Cafe Society Downtown in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1939 and also participated in the historic Carnegie Hall concert “From Spirituals to Swing”. She also began her recording career that year with a series for Vocalion Records. In 1940, Okeh Records. With groups such as guitarist Charlie Christian, Hot Lips Page, Henry “Red”, Allen, trombonist J. C. Higginbotham, or Lionel Hampton, she recorded several sessions. After several years of retirement, Chris Albertson, a record producer, convinced her to make one last recording for Riverside, Blues For Rampart Street. Roy Eldridge and Coleman Hawkins, drummer Jo Jones, Milt Hinton, pianist Milt Hinton, and pianist Sammy Price were her accompanying musicians. Her old songs, such as “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues”, were re-recorded on the album. This brought her new fans, including Nancy Harrow and Barbara Dane who also recorded their versions. Cox called the album her “final statement” and it was. From Wikipedia

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