Leola Coot Grant

Vaudeville, Blues Vocals

Born: June 17, 1893 Birmingham, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame


coot grant document album

Active: '20s, '30s, '40s

Genres: Blues

Instrument: Vocals

Representative Albums: "Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 3 (1931-1938)", "Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 1 (1925-1928)", "Complete Recorded Works, Vol. 2 (1928-1931)"

Representative Songs: "Find Me at the Greasy Spoon (If You Miss Me Here)", "Uncle Joe", "Come on Coot Do That Thing"

Biography

"Come on Coot Do That Thing" was the name of the song, and she did. Coot Grant was the main stage name of Leola B. Pettigrew, a classic blues singer and guitarist from Alabama whose legal name became Leola Wilson following her marriage to performing partner Wesley Wilson. The pair, who ironically were born in the same year, met and began performing together in 1905 and were wed seven years later. Pettigrew was already known as Coot Grant by this time, the name representing some kind of wordplay on the nickname "Cutie." She had been involved in show business since she was a child, beginning as a dancer in vaudeville. Prior to the beginning of the first World War she had already toured both Europe and South Africa, sometimes appearing under the name of Patsy Hunter. Her husband, who played both piano and organ, also performed under a variety of bizarre stage names including Catjuice Charlie, in a gross-out duo with Pigmeat Pete, as well as Kid Wilson, Jenkins, Socks, and Sox Wilson.

The husband and wife, billed as Grant & Wilson, Kid & Coot, and Hunter & Jenkins, appeared and recorded with top jazz artists such as Fletcher Henderson, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong. They performed in musical comedies, vaudeville, traveling shows, and revues, and in 1933 appeared in the film Emperor Jones with the famous singer Paul Robeson. Their songwriting was certainly as important as these performing activities. The couple published some 400 songs, most famous of which is "Gimme a Pigfoot," one of classic blues singer Bessie Smith's grandest hits. There seemed to be no subject this songwriting pair wouldn't touch, as evidenced by titles such as "Dem Socks Dat My Pappy Wore" and the unfortunately unreleased "Throat Cutting Blues."

On her own, Grant also recorded country blues including some collaborations with guitarist Blind Blake in 1926. The careers of both she and her husband began to falter in the mid-'30s, with the pair returning to the studios only briefly in 1938, and again a decade later when Mezzrow hired them to perform and write material for his new King Jazz label. Grant kept performing following her husband's retirement in 1948, but eventually dropped so far out of sight that to date, no details have been discovered about her death. All of the material she performed, solo and in duo with Wesley Wilson, has been reissued on archive labels such as Document. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi

Source: http://www.answers.com/topic/coot-grant#ixzz1CBSCY8IU


Coot Grant (born Leola B. Pettigrew June 17, 1893 in Birmingham) was a country, blues and vaudeville singer and songwriter. Her own stage craft, plus the double act with her husband and musical partner, Wesley "Kid" Wilson, was popular with African American audiences in the 1910s, 1920s and early 1930s.

coot grantPettigrew was one of 15 children. The first part of her eventual stage name came from a derivation of her childhood nickname, 'Cutie'. She began work in 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia, appearing in Vaudeville, and the following year toured South Africa and across Europe with Mayme Remington's Pickaninnies. She was sometimes billed as Patsy Hunter. In 1913, she married the singer, Isiah I. Grant, and they worked on stage together before his death in 1920. She married Wesley Wilson the same year, but he surpassed her on stage names, being later variously billed as Catjuice Charlie (in a brief duo with Pigmeat Pete), Kid Wilson, Jenkins, Socks, and Sox Wilson. He played both piano and organ, whilst Coot Grant strummed guitar as well as sang and danced.

The duo's billing also varied between Grant and Wilson, Kid and Coot, and Hunter and Jenkins, as they went on to appear and later record with Fletcher Henderson, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, and Louis Armstrong. Their variety was such that they performed separately and together in vaudeville, musical comedies, revues and traveling shows. This ability to adapt also saw them appear in the 1933 film, The Emperor Jones, alongside Paul Robeson.

In addition to this, the twosome wrote in excess of 400 songs over their working lifetime. That list included "Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)" (1933) and "Take Me for a Buggy Ride", which were both made famous by Bessie Smith's recording of the songs, plus "Find Me at the Greasy Spoon" and "Prince of Wails" for Fletcher Henderson. Their own renditions included the diverse, "Come on Coot, Do That Thing" (1925), "Dem Socks Dat My Pappy Wore," and "Throat Cutting Blues" (although the latter remains unreleased)."

In 1926, Grant joined up with Blind Blake, and recorded a selection of country blues renditions. Although Grant and Wilson's act, once seen as a serious rival to Butterbeans and Susie, began to lose favor with the public by the middle of the 1930s, they recorded further songs in 1938. Their only child, Bobby Wilson, was born in 1941. By 1946, and after Mezz Mezzrow had founded his King Jazz record label, he engaged them as songwriters.

Wilson retired in ill health shortly thereafter, but Grant continued performing into the 1950s. In January 1953, one commentator noted that the couple had moved from New York to Los Angeles, but were in considerable financial hardship.

Her entire recorded work, both with and without Wilson, was made available in three chronological volumes in 1998 by Document Records.

Source: http://www.bhamwiki.com/w/Coot_Grant

More info:

Video: Coot Grant and Kid Wilson - Stevedore Man (1926) http://youtu.be/j64e8BWuAMU

Lyrics for "Boop-Poop-A-Doop": http://www.heptune.com/booppoop.html

Artist Direct bio:  http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/bio/coot-grant/657435

Tuscaloosa News: http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/20090315/news/903161978?Title=SOUTHERN-LIGHTS-Blues-could-mean-big-business


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