Ida Cox is possibly less well known than some of the other early female blues singers such as Bessie Smith or Memphis Minnie. Nevertheless she was a fine singer with a style that could range from classic blues to swing and jazz. She was born Ida Prather in 1896 in Toccoa, Georgia. Like many other blues artists of the time she left home as a teenager to travel, performing in vaudeville and tent shows as a comedienne and a singer. In the early 1920's she played with pianist Jelly Roll Morton but she left him before signing a recording contract with Paramount in 1923. She recorded seventy-eight songs for the Paramount Record label over a six year period, often accompanied by Love Austin and/or Tommy Ladnier. She also recorded a number of songs for the Broadway and Silvertone Record labels. Paramount billed her as the "Uncrowned Queen of Blues" although she recorded under a variety of names including Julia Powers, Kate Lewis, Jane Smith and Velma Bradley.

She was very popular as a live performer, particularly with female audiences, and  many of her songs, many of which she wrote herself, were directed at black female audiences about subjects such as dignity and respect.  Ida Cox was a stylish woman with a  lavish wardrobe and a sophisticated and business-like attitude. She managed her own touring company called "Raising Cain", hiring her own musicians and producing the stage shows. She recorded far less during the 1930's, which was perhaps a 'male decade' although she continued with successful live performances. After a very successful appearance at the Carnegie Hall in 1939 in the "Spirituals to Swing" concert, she made a series of jazz oriented recordings in the early 1940's. In 1944 Ida Cox suffered a stroke and she was retired for most the the next fifteen years. However she was persuaded to return to the studio on one more occasion in 1961, when she recorded a session with Coleman Hawkins. She died in 1967 at the age of 71.

    Four Day Creep (excerpt)