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.”
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