Tuesday, October 23, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Cow Cow Davenport

Artist:Cow Cow Davenport
Song:Cow Cow Blues
Album:Complete Recorded Works Vol. 1

Though frequently classified as a blues artist, Charles "Cow Cow" Davenport was actually a pioneer of boogie woogie piano and was one of the first to record that style in the late 20s. Cow Cow Blues is his signature song. He was born Apr. 26, 1894 in Anniston, AL. Against the objections of his family, he started playing piano at age 12 and got into trouble for playing ragtime. His family thought that sending him to a theological seminary would straighten him out. He first toured with medicine shows but by the mid-20s, he played solo piano and accompanied singer Dora Carr. He recorded for Vocalion Records and several other labels. He first recorded Cow Cow Blues in 1925 with Carr. But he also recorded it as a solo piano recording. He was one of the first to record in the boogie woogie style and was a huge influence on the musicians who would become stars later. Davenport claimed that he wrote Mama Don't Allow and the Louis Armstrong classic I'll Be Glad When You're Dead You Rascal You but he said he sold the rights. Davenport suffered a stroke in the early 30s and lost the use of his hands. In 1938, pianist Art Hodes found Davenport washing dishes at a restaurant. Hodes helped him regain the use of his hands and got him record deals. You may recall Ella Fitzgerald sang Cow Cow Boogie in the 1942 film Ride 'Em Cowboy. It turns out that Freddie Slack took Cow Cow Blues and changed the title with no credit for Davenport. He did get paid afterwards. Davenport is also credited as a major influence on Ray Charles. Document Records has released all of Davenport's recordings in chronological order on three CDs. Cow Cow Davenport continued to be active in the 40s until his death from heart failure on Dec. 3, 1955 at age 61. Here's a video for Cow Cow Blues by Cow Cow Davenport.

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