Archive for the ‘Cow Cow Davenport’ Category

Author: Art Hodes

Source: Jazz Journal May 1959, p. 10-12


Arthur W. Hodes (1904-1993) known professionally as Art Hodes, was an American jazz pianist. Born in Ukraine,  he  settled with his family in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow.

Later Hodes founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago. He and his band played mostly in that area for the next forty years.

Read HERE an article he wrote in 1959 on Cow Cow Davenport

Author: Cow Cow Davenport

Source: The Jazz Record, December 1944


“When I was a boy down in Alabama, the people who played music played only guitars. The guitars were carried swung on the neck with a long string, and people called them easy riders. My father didn’t like that idea of his son being an easy rider so he wouldn’t let me learn music. In those days the musicians had all the girls, and daddy despised it; so he didn’t allow me to play in his house. He had purchased a piano, though. My mother was pianist for a church they organized. My mother admired me because I could play, and my daddy hated me because I could play. He was going to make out of me what he wanted me to be, that was a pread1er. He sent me to Selma University, a Baptist college in Alabama.”


Author: Karl Gert zur Heide

Source: Doctor Jazz Magazine 205, June 2009



« For a blues fan, Cow Cow Davenport is a household name, and his « Cow Cow Blues » is a blues classic. Like jazz icon Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941), Davenport (1894/95-1955) came from the Deep South of the USA, worked as a comedian, sang and played piano, composed songs and instrumentals, entertained in brothels, and was associated with women who could also sing the blues. Both men made some of their best recordings by cutting piano rolls for the Vocalstyle company in Cincinnati – Morton in 1924, Davenport in 1925/1926.
Besides their association with “the life” (in red-light districts), they shared another habit: crisscrossing the country and the barrelhouse circuit and with vaudeville acts and minstrel shows. This essay will throw more light on the tent-show aspect of Davenport’s career.”