365 Days of Album Recommendations – June 21

Ida Cox – Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1, 1923

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Ida Cox was one of the truly great early pioneers of the blues form, and while she gets lumped in with “classic blues women” on the 20s and 30s, she certainly stood alone as a singer, performer, songwriter, and businesswoman.

She was “discovered” twice by John Hammond over the course of her long career, and her performance at Hammond’s now-legendary Carnegie Hall “Spirituals to Swing” concert certainly cements her place in the blues hall of fame, tho it’s likely she’s more known to contemporary audiences for her song “Wild Women Don’t Have The Blues,” as this is a phrase that has fully entered our common parlance by virtue of all the covers done of it since; including, oddly enough, a rather successful one by Cyndi Lauper!

I love these very early recordings of hers, cuz you can just already feel the vitality of her voice wanting to jump out and git ya …

She had a really unique voice, both objectively, and for the era. She wasn’t a growler, and she wasn’t particularly coy, or heavy with innuendo; she had a hard vibrato, and a cutting tone, and she could really hit a blues hard, despite not really coming off like a tough blues artist … listen to somethin’ like Ida Cox’s Lawdy, Lawdy Blues, and you’ll dig what I mean …

She would record it much later in life, with far better recording quality, but this early version of I’ve Got The Blues For Rampart Street, crackly as it is, is just totally magic. Please, please check it out.


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