Robert McCoy

Decades: 2000s


31 March 1912, Aliceville, Alabama, USA, d. 1978, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Jabbo Williams was a family friend, and Cow Cow Davenport and Pinetop Smith were visitors to the McCoy home. McCoy claimed to have played piano on record behind Jaybird Coleman in 1930 and, in 1937, he accompanied a number of Birmingham artists at a session organized by Lucille Bogan, of whose band he was a member. After war service, McCoy largely retired (although he claimed to have recorded with Jerry McCain). In the early 60s he was extensively recorded by a local enthusiast; attempts to commercialize his sound with R&B musicians and songs failed, but his exploration of the older repertoire resulted in some valuable performances. Heavily indebted to Race Records for material, and stylistically influenced by Leroy Carr, McCoy nevertheless preserved the rough, percussive piano styles of Birmingham. He had become a church deacon by 1975.

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