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Ida Cox Vol. 1 1923

Ida Cox

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Album Review

Ida Cox was one of the most powerful blues singers of the 1920s, ranking just below Bessie Smith. The Document label has reissued all of Cox's 1920s recordings on four CDs, leaving out many of the alternate takes (since there are a great deal from 1923-24) to be put out on a later series. The first CD has the master takes of all of Cox's recordings from 1923, plus four alternates. Except for the closing "Bear-Mash Blues," which finds the singer joined by her future husband Jesse Crump on piano, the music either features accompaniment by pianist Lovie Austin (an underrated blues player) or assistance from Austin, the great cornetist Tommy Ladnier and clarinetist Jimmy O'Bryant. Cox was one of the few singers from this early period who could overcome the technical limitations of the primitive recording equipment and really communicate with the listener. Among the highlights from her first year on records are "Any Woman's Blues," "Graveyard Dream Blues" (which is heard in three versions), "Ida Cox's Lawdy, Lawdy Blues," "Moanin' Groanin' Blues," "Come Right In" (which has some lines that would become quite familiar in later songs) and "I've Got the Blues for Rampart Street." Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: 25 February 1896 in Toccoa, GA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '20s, '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s

One of the finest classic blues singers of the 1920s, Ida Cox was singing in theaters by the time she was 14. She recorded regularly during 1923-1929 (her "Wild Woman Don't Have the Blues" and "Death Letter Blues" are her best-known songs). Although she was off-record during much of the 1930s, Cox was able to continue working and in 1939 she sang at Cafe Society, appeared at John Hammond's Spirituals to Swing concert, and made some...
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Ida Cox Vol. 1 1923, Ida Cox
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