Ida Cox

Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1990s 2000s


Ida Prather, 25 February 1896, Toccoa, Georgia, USA, d. 10 November 1967, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA. Like many early blues vocalists, Cox’s origins are vague and details of the date and place of her birth vary widely. One of the classic blues singers, Cox began her career as a child, appearing on stage when barely in her teens. She made her first recordings in 1923 and for the rest of the decade recorded extensively for Paramount, often accompanied by Lovie Austin. Cox’s singing style, a brooding, slightly nasal monotone, was less attractive than that of some of her contemporaries, but there was no denying the heartfelt passion with which she imbued the lyrics of her songs, many of which took death as their text. Among her greatest performances were ‘Bone Orchard Blues’, ‘Death Letter Blues’, ‘Black Crepe Blues’, ‘Worn Down Daddy’ and ‘Coffin Blues’ (on which she was accompanied by her husband, organist...

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