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Ida Cox Biography

Born: February 25, 1896, Toccoa, Georgia

Died: November 10, 1967, Knoxville, Tennessee

Also known as: Ida Prather

Ida Cox was one of the great 1920s blues singers. She began her career as a teenager, traveling throughout the south as a singer with tent and vaudeville shows. Cox was also a versatile businesswoman — for a time she ran her own touring company, working as a producer and manager as well as performer. She was a prolific and popular recording artist throughout the 1920s who wrote many of her own songs, one of which is the well-known “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues.” Cox tended to direct her shows toward black female audiences, with songs that examined various issues from a female perspective. Cox’s career was active throughout the 1930s, when health problems reportedly forced her into retirement, although she did manage an additional recording session in the early 1960s.

Essential listening: “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues,” “Last Mile Blues,” “Pink Slip Blues,” “Cemetery Blues”