Papa Charlie McCoy
|Papa Charlie McCoy|
|Birth name||Charles McCoy|
|Also known as||Papa Charlie McCoy, Tampa Kid|
May 26, 1909|
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
|Died||July 26, 1950
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Associated acts||The Mississippi Hot Footers, Bo Carter, Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey, The McCoy Brothers, Memphis Minnie|
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, McCoy was best known by the nickname 'Papa Charlie'. He became one of the major blues accompanists of his time. A guitarist and mandolin player, he played in the Mississippi area with his band, The Mississippi Hot Footers.
McCoy recorded several sides with Bo Carter as the 'Mississippi Mud Steppers'. Among the tracks recorded with Carter were two variations of Cow Cow Davenport's "Cow Cow Blues" . The first, an instrumental, was released as "The Jackson Stomp". The second, with lyrics and vocals by McCoy, as "The Lonesome Train, That Took My Girl From Town". They also wrote and recorded "The Vicksburg Stomp" which was resurrected and recorded by Mike Compton, of O Brother, Where Art Thou? fame.
His nimble, sensitive guitar work enriched recordings from performers including Tommy Johnson and Ishman Bracey. He recorded regularly in the late 1920s, often alongside Walter Vincson. He dated blues singer and guitar player Geeshie Wiley around 1928. He also sat in with the Mississippi Sheiks, Rubin Lacy, Son Spand and the many other Delta bluesmen who passed through the Jackson area in the years that followed. He also backed his then sister-in-law, Memphis Minnie in the mid 1930s.
As a slide guitarist, McCoy recorded as under the name of Tampa Kid, and released "Keep On Trying".
He eventually migrated to Chicago where he organized two bands, "Papa Charlie's Boys" and with his older brother Kansas Joe McCoy, the Harlem Hamfats, that performed and recorded during the second half of the 1930s. However, service with the United States Army during World War II cut short McCoy’s career.
In poor health, McCoy never returned to music after the war, and he died in Chicago, Illinois in 1950 from paralytic brain disease, only a few months after his brother had died. They are both buried in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.
- Allmusic biography
- "Papa Charlie McCoy". Find a Grave. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- Birthplaces of Mississippi Blues Artists - maps
- McCoy Brothers Tribute website
- Works by or about Papa Charlie McCoy in libraries (WorldCat catalog)