Mamie Smith was the ‘Queen of the Blues' but Ida Cox was known as ‘The Uncrowned Queen of the Blues.’
Coronation issues aside, Ida was a terrific performer and one of the greatest singers of the classic female blues period. Often billed in the pre-politically correct 1920s as the Sepia Mae West, Ida recorded some fantastic sides including the chilling Coffin Blues and her still shocking, racially charged 1930 release What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue.
After several years in retirement Ida was persuaded to record one last album in the 60s with the Coleman Hawkins Quintet. The result is a treat for fans of old school blues ballads and torch songs. The album can be downloaded from Amazon here.
Listen: Ida Cox - Coffin Blues (1925)
Listen: Ida Cox - What Did I Do To Be So Black And Blue (1930)