Papa Charlie McCoy
|Papa Charlie McCoy|
Portrait of "Papa" Charlie McCoy with his mandolin.
|Birth name||Charles McCoy|
|Also known as||Papa Charlie McCoy, Tampa Kid|
May 26, 1909|
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
July 26, 1950 (aged 41)|
Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Associated acts||The Mississippi Hot Footers, Bo Carter, Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey, the McCoy Brothers, Memphis Minnie|
McCoy was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He was best known by his nickname, Papa Charlie. As a guitarist and mandolin player, he was one of the major blues accompanists of his time. He played in the Mississippi area with his band, the Mississippi Hot Footers. As a slide guitarist, he recorded under the name Tampa Kid, releasing "Keep on Trying". He and his older brother Kansas Joe McCoy performed together in the 1930s and 1940s and recorded as the McCoy Brothers.
McCoy and Bo Carter recorded several sides as the Mississippi Mud Steppers, including two variations of Cow Cow Davenport's "Cow Cow Blues": the first, an instrumental, was released as "The Jackson Stomp", and 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" (a version of which was recorded by the mandolinists Mike Compton and David Long in 2006).
McCoy's career was cut short by his service with the United States Army during World War II. In poor health after the war, he never returned to music. He died in Chicago in 1950 from paralytic brain disease, only a few months after his brother died. Both are buried in the Restvale Cemetery, in Alsip, Illinois.
Several cover versions of McCoy's composition "Too Long" have been released.