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Papa Charlie McCoy

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Charles “Papa Charlie” McCoy (May 26, 1909 – July 26, 1950) 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. 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”.

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