Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Raymond in Hinds County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

The McCoy Brothers

 
 
The McCoy Brothers Marker (side 1) image. Click for full size.
By Robert Cole, November 20, 2013
1. The McCoy Brothers Marker (side 1)
Inscription.
(side 1)
Joe McCoy and his brother Charlie McCoy, both born on a farm near Raymond, performed and recorded widely during the pre-World War II era, but their most important legacy may rest with the songs they wrote or cowrote. These include “Corrine Corrina,” which became a folk music standard, “When the Levee Breaks,” which was covered by Led Zeppelin, and “Why Donít You Do Right,” a hit for both blues singer Lil Green and pop star Peggy Lee.

(side 2)
Joe and Charlie McCoy
Blues historians know little about the formative years of brothers Joe and Charlie McCoy, but their extensive recorded legacy from the late '20s to the mid-'40s attests to their considerable instrumental, vocal and songwriting skills, as well as to their great ability to adapt to changing musical trends. Joe Wilbur McCoy was born May 11, 1905; Charlie was born May 26, 1909, according to medical records, but other sources place his birth date at c. 1911. In the 1900 census their parents, Patrick and Alice McCoy, were living near Bolton, in the same area as blues pioneers Charley Patton, Henry Sloan, and future members of the Mississippi Sheiks from the Chatmon (or Chatman) family.

The McCoy brothers were both active in Jackson blues circles, but by the late '20s Joe moved
The McCoy Brothers Marker (side 2) image. Click for full size.
By Robert Cole, November 20, 2013
2. The McCoy Brothers Marker (side 2)
to Memphis and soon thereafter to Chicago. In February 1928 Charlie made his debut recordings playing guitar behind Jackson area musicians Ishmon Bracey and Tommy Johnson. Charlie also recorded as a mandolinist in string bands billed as the Jackson Blue Boys, the Mississippi Blacksnakes, and the Mississippi Mud Steppers. Charlie and Bo Chatmon (later known as Bo Carter) recorded the first version of "Corrine Corrina" in December 1928. An astonishing range of artists later covered the song, including Bob Wills, Art Tatum, Bing Crosby, Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, Dean Martin, and Bob Dylan. In the early '30s Charlie established himself in Chicago as an in-demand studio musician. Joe McCoy's records were all released under pseudonyms, including Hamfat Ham, Georgia Pine Boy, Mississippi Mudder, and Mud Dauber Joe. McCoy, who also served as a preacher at times, used the name Hallelujah Joe to record sermons. He was best known, though, as "Kansas Joe," musical and marital partner of blues star Memphis Minnie. Between 1929 and 1934 Joe appeared as a vocalist on over forty songs he recorded with Minnie. Among his many compositions was "When the Levee Breaks," which addressed the 1927 Mississippi River flood. The song, on which Joe sang lead vocals, was revived in 1971 by rock group Led Zeppelin.

Joe and Charlie mixed blues, jazz, and pop music as members of the popular Harlem
The McCoy Brothers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Robert Cole, November 20, 2013
3. The McCoy Brothers Marker
Hamfats from 1936 to 1939. Joe co-managed the band and sang on most of their hits, including "Oh! Red." The brothers also recorded together in the group Big Joe and His Rhythm from 1941 to 1944, sometimes joined by Robert Lee McCoy (a.k.a. Robert Nighthawk), who was reputed to be a relative. By the late 1940s neither brother was active in music, and both died in 1950 - Joe on January 28 and Charlie on July 26. They are buried in Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois.
 
Erected 2008 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 53.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
 
Location. 32° 15.579′ N, 90° 25.367′ W. Marker is in Raymond, Mississippi, in Hinds County. Marker is at the intersection of Raymond Clinton Road and Raymond Bolton Road (Mississippi Highway 467), on the left when traveling south on Raymond Clinton Road. Touch for map. Marker is on the northwest side of the circle in the center of the Raymond downtown business district. Marker is in this post office area: Raymond MS 39154, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Guide to the Campaign Trail (a few steps from this marker); Raymond Courthouse
The McCoy Brothers Marker on Raymond Square image. Click for full size.
By Robert Cole, November 20, 2013
4. The McCoy Brothers Marker on Raymond Square
(within shouting distance of this marker); Hinds County Confederate Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. Mark's Episcopal Church (about 500 feet away); Confederate Cemetery (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bledsoe's Battery (approx. 1.4 miles away); C.S. Gregg's Task Force (approx. 1.4 miles away); C.S. Bledsoe's Missouri Battery (3 Guns) (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Raymond.
 
Also see . . .
1. Mississippi Blues Trail: McCoy Brothers - Raymond. (Submitted on November 20, 2013, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
2. The Chicago Reader: The Real McCoys. A tribute to prewar bluesmen Joe and Charlie McCoy will help buy headstones for their unmarked south-side graves. (Submitted on November 20, 2013, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.) 

3. McCoy Brothers Tribute. (Submitted on November 20, 2013, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.)
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
Raymond Square image. Click for full size.
By Robert Cole, November 20, 2013
5. Raymond Square
Christmas display on the square. The marker is on the right behind the tree.
Joe and Charlie McCoy image. Click for full size.
By Unknown
6. Joe and Charlie McCoy
The McCoy Brothers Marker at Northwest Side of Water Tower image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, June 5, 2015
7. The McCoy Brothers Marker at Northwest Side of Water Tower
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2017. This page originally submitted on November 20, 2013, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This page has been viewed 462 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on November 20, 2013, by Cleo Robertson of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   7. submitted on July 7, 2015, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement