COX, Ida (nee Prather)

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COX, Ida (nee Prather)

COX, Ida (nee Prather) , jazz-blues singer; b. Toccoa, Ga., Feb. 25, c. 1896; d. Knoxville, Term., Nov. 10, 1967. She sang in her local African Methodist Choir during childhood, and later ran away from home to tour with White and Clark’s Minstrels on the T.O.B.A. circuit. She became a solo artist and began recording in 1923. She worked with Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver, among many other jazz musicians. During the 1920s and early 1930s, she toured with her own “Raisin7 Cain” show, then headed the “Darktown Scandals” company. Cox recorded with Hot Lips Page and Fletcher Henderson. After playing solo residencies in N.Y. (1939; at this time managed by blues singer Big Bill Broonzy), she appeared at “Spirituals to Swing” concert at Carnegie Hall (December 1939). She continued to work regularly until suffering a stroke in Buffalo, N.Y. (1945); she eventually retired to Knoxville (1949). Cox was redis-covered in late 1959 after John Hammond placed an ad in Variety. She hadn’t sang in five years but resumed recording in 1961 with an album featuring all-star jazz accompaniment. She died of cancer in 1967. She was the wife of Tex. pianist- organist Jesse “Tiny” Crump.


Wld Women Don’t Have the Blues (1961); Moanin’ Groanin’ Blues (1961); Blues for Rampart Street (1961).

—John Chilton/Lewis Porter