Papa Charlie McCoy

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For other people of the same name, see Charles McCoy (disambiguation).
Papa Charlie McCoy
Birth name Charles McCoy
Also known as Papa Charlie McCoy, Tampa Kid
Born (1909-05-26)May 26, 1909
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Died July 26, 1950(1950-07-26) (aged 41)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Delta blues
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Guitar, mandolin
Associated acts The Mississippi Hot Footers, Bo Carter, Tommy Johnson, Ishman Bracey, The McCoy Brothers, Memphis Minnie

Charles "Papa Charlie" McCoy (May 26, 1909 – July 26, 1950)[1] was an African American delta blues musician and songwriter.


Born in Jackson, Mississippi, McCoy was best known by the nickname 'Papa Charlie'. He became one of the major blues accompanists of his time.[2] 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.

As a slide guitarist, McCoy recorded under the name of Tampa Kid, and released "Keep on Trying".

McCoy also joined and performed with his brother (Kansas Joe McCoy) for many years, and they released records under the title of "The McCoy Brothers".

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.[1] 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,[3] only a few months after his brother had died. They are both buried in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.

McCoy's composition "Too Long" was covered several times.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jason Ankeny. "Charlie McCoy | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  2. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 139–140. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ Doc Rock. "The 50s and earlier". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2015-09-08. 

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