The Online Roots of Rock

The Online Roots of Rock
Robert Johnson - I Believe I'll Dust My Broom

Robert Johnson
February 25, 1896 – November 10, 1967

"Uncrowned Queen of the Blues"
— Paramount Records billing

Ida Cox
Ida Cox - Paramount label
Ida Cox
Ida Cox - Blues for Rampart Street
LEFT: Ida Cox wa born in 1896 in Yaccoa, Georgia. She left home at the age of fourteen, in 1910, to join a minstrel revue. By 1920 she was headlining shows. LEFT CENTER: In 1923 she signed with Paramount Records, but produced no major hits in her seven years with the label. However she did well as a songwriter because she managed and produced herself and organized travelling troupes to promote her songs. RIGHT CENTER: She performed through the 1930s and 1940s, retiring in 1945. RIGHT: She returned to music in the 1950s and recorded one last album in 1961. She died October 10, 1967.

Ida Cox
Ida Prather was born in 1896 1 in Taccoa, Georgia. She was raised in Cedartown, Georgia, where she sang in the church choir.
She left home in 1910, at the age of 14, to join a minstrel revue. She performed as a comedienne and singer in tent shows and vaudeville into the 1910s. She married fellow minstrel performer, Adler Cox.
By 1920 she was the headlining shows and performed with the likes of Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver at the Plantation Cafe in Chicago.
She signed with Paramount Records in 1923 and recorded Graveyard Dream Blues and Weary Way Blues that same year. She recorded seventy-eight songs with Paramount up to 1929. She also recorded, using pseudonyms, for other labels. She wrote many of her own songs.
She promoted her songs with her own vaudeville troupes and by headlining shows through the 1930s.
She appeared with Bessie Smith in the musical revue, Fan Waves at the Apollo Theatre in 1934.
After singing Lowdown Dirty Shame and Fore Day Creep in John Hammond's 1939 Spirituals to Swing concert in Carnegie Hall, she began appearing regularly at Cafe Society in New York City.
She retired from show business in 1945, after having a stroke on stage while performing.
She made some appearance in the 1950s and one last recording, Blues for Rampart Street, on the Riverside label in 1961.
She died of cancer on November 10, 1967.

* * *

Ida Cox was a guiding force in her own career, acting as her own manager and producer, and operating travelling troupes to promote her songs. She espoused female liberation in songs such as Wild Women Don't Have the Blues, and sexual assertion in songs such as her risqué One Hour Mama.2
Many of Cox's songs addressed the plight of blacks under oppressive racial and social conditions: Pink Slip Blues (unemployment), and Last Mile Blues (capital pubishment).
And then there are her graveyard songs: Cemetery Blues, New Graveyard Dream Blues, Coffin Blues, and Bone Orchard Blues.
Many of Cox's songs were closer to Tin Pan Alley and vaudeville than they were to Blues.

1 Ida's birthdate is unconfirmed, with dates ranging fom 1886 to 2000.
The sexual innuendo in her 1939 recording, One Hour Mama, was echoed in the Dominoes' 1951 R&B hit, Sixty Minute Man. While the former makes female demands, the latter boasts male prowess.

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The Online Roots of Rock

.Featured Sites .

Ida Cox - Blues Hall of Fame website
Ida Cox - Red Hot Jazz website
Ida Cox - Wikipedia
inducted 2011
bio / discography

Other Recommended Ida Cox Sites
Jazz Journal obituary

Click on any link below for more information, or to order online

Ida Cox
Complete Recorded Works 1923-1938 in Chronological Order
Ida Cox
The Essential
Ida Cox
Blues for
Rampart Street
Ida Cox - Complete Recorded Works
Ida Cox - The Essential
Ida Cox - Blues for Rampart Street
Volume 1 / 24 tracks
Volume 2 / 24 tracks
Volume 3 / 24 tracks
Volume 4 / 24 tracks
Volume 5 / 19 tracks
also mp3s
Classic Blues
2 CDs / 36 tracks
1 CD / 10 tracks
also mp3s

The Blues
Blues Legends
Swing Era
Jazz Women
Ida Cox - Blues Legends dvd
Ida Cox - Swing Era dvd
Ida Cox - Swing Era dvd
Storyville Films
49 minutes
info / order
various artists
Swing Era
80 minutes
info / order
Volume 1
Rosetta Records
26 minutes
info / order

.YouTube Videos .
Click here to enjoy Ida Cox clips, images and songs
posted on YouTube

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100 Years of Popular Music in America
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