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Main street Toccoa is proud to present the Ida Cox Music Series! The Ida Cox Music Series will feature concerts from fourteen different musical acts every Saturday from June 3 to August 26. Concerts will be held from 7 pm to 10 pm. Make sure to bring chairs as it will be held outdoors. In case of rain, the concert will be held at the Historic Ritz Theatre.

Band Name Date Genre Home City
Toccoa JAZZ June 3, 2017 Jazz Toccoa, GA
Nick and the Grooves June 10, 2017 Jazz/Funk/Blues Avondale Estates, GA
Royal Johnson June 17, 2017 Rock/Blues/Funk Macon, GA
Tangents June 24, 2017 Rock/Country Buford, GA
Connor Tribble July 1, 2017 Rock Athens, GA
Lily Rose  July 8, 2017 Folk Rock Atlanta, GA
The Coteries  July 8, 2017 Folk Rock Fort Collins, CO
Seven Day Weekend July 15, 2017 Rock/Oldies New Bedford, MA
Thunder Gypsy July 22, 2017 Soul Atlanta, GA
The Maggie Valley Band July 29, 2017 Bluegrass Maggie Valley, NC
Split Shot August 5, 2017 Country Greenville, SC
2nd Time Around August 12, 2017 Soul/Classic Rock Hartwell, GA
Hunter Callahan August 19, 2017 Country Nashville, TN
Milkshake Mayfield August 26, 2017 Jazz Atlanta, GA

Ida Cox (1896-1967)

Ida Cox was a vaudeville performer and a pioneering blues singer who, along with Gertrude"Ma" Rainey and Bessie Smith, founded the female blues genre. Cox was born Ida Prather on February 25, 1896, in Toccoa. She left home as a teenager to tour with a minstrel revue. Cox excelled at vaudeville singing, but when the popularity of vaudeville shows began to fade, she transformed herself into a formidable blues singer.

In 1923 she made her first blues recordings, "Graveyard Dream Blues" and "Weary Way Blues," for the Paramount label. She met with immediate success and went on to record seventy-eight songs between 1923 and 1929, including "Cemetery Blues," "Handy Man," and her best-known song, "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues." Cox wrote most of the songs that she recorded. As Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey achieved success and popularity, Paramount promoted Cox as the "Uncrowned Queen of the Blues."

Like Smith and Rainey, Cox toured the blues circuit with pianists, including the renowned Jelly Roll Morton. A savvy businesswoman, Cox served as her own manager and producer, and enjoyed a lucrative career.

In 1939 Cox performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of John Hammond's second presentation of From Spirituals to Swing. She sang "Lowdown Dirty Shame" and "'Fore Day Creep" before a sold-out, integrated audience. The historic concert introduced the blues diva to a crowd that was perhaps just beginning to appreciate the artistry and significance of black music.

After suffering a stroke in 1945, Cox lived in Chicago for a brief time before returning to the South in 1949. She lived with her daughter in Knoxville, Tennessee, and with her music career behind her, sang exclusively in her church choir until 1961, when she made one last recording, Blues for Rampart Street

Blues for Rampart Street(1961)at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The album featured an all-star band that included saxophonist Coleman Hawkins. Cox died on November 10, 1967.

Cox's song "Wild Women Don't Have the Blues" became the signature song for the rhythm-and-blues vocalist Francine Reed. Reed, who has toured with the country/pop musician Lyle Lovett, gives a rousing performance of "Wild Women" on Lovett's 1999 album,Live in Texas.