Charles “Papa Charlie” McCoy was an African-American delta blues musician and songwriter. Born on May 26, 1909, 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 and Bo Carter recorded several sides as the Mississippi Mud Steppers, including two variations of Cow Cow Davenport’s “Cow Cow Blues:” the first, an instrumental, was released as “The Jackson Stomp;” and 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,” a version of which was recorded by the mandolinists Mike Compton and David Long in 2006.
He later moved to Chicago where he started his own two bands—Papa Charlie’s Boys, with his brother Kansas Joe, and the Harlem Hamfats—which performed and recorded in the late 1930s.