IDA COX — painted by Doc Togden. Ida Cox (1888—1967) was a vaudeville performer, best known for her Blues performances and recordings. She was billed as ‘The Uncrowned Queen of Blues’
After the success of Mamie Smith's 1920 recording of ‘Crazy Blues’ record companies became aware of a demand for ‘race music’. The classic female Blues era began and extended through the 1920s. With her popularity in the South she attracted the attention of talent scouts and secured a contract with Paramount Records, the same company for which her heroine Ma Rainey recorded. Between 1923 and 1929, she recorded 78 titles for Paramount. For her numerous recording sessions, Paramount provided her with outstanding backup musicians, including the pianist Lovie Austin and her band, the Blues Serenaders, featuring Jimmy O'Bryant (clarinet) and Tommy Ladnier (cornet). During this period, she also recorded songs for other labels, including Broadway Records and Silvertone Records, using the pseudonyms Kate Lewis, Velma Bradley, Julia Powers, and Jane Smith.
In 1939 she was invited to participate in the historic Carnegie Hall concert series From Spirituals to Swing, produced by John Hammond, in which she sang ‘Four Day Creep’ backed by James Johnson (piano), Lester Young (tenor sax), Buck Clayton (trumpet), and Dicky Wells (trombone). Her performance was the highlight of the concert series and gave her career a boost after the Depression-era decline. Ida Cox resumed recording, with a series of sessions for Vocalion Records in 1939 and Okeh Records in 1940, with groups that included the guitarist Charlie Christian, the trumpeters Hot Lips Page and Henry—Red—Allen, the trombonist JC Higginbotham, and the percussionist Lionel Hampton. She continued to perform until her retirement in 1945. #idacox #blues #theblues #bluesmusic #classicblues #bluesera #blueswoman #blueswomen #bluesdiva #blueslady #bluesladies #womeninblues #bluessinger #bluessingers #bluesvocals #crazyblues #bluesmama #biglegmama #bigmama #bigmamas #bigmammas #sugarmama #blackhistory #blueshistory #blackamerica #blackamerican #blackmusic #racemusic #bluenote #blackhistory