Big Joe and His Washboard Band

Category: Artist
Time period: Pre-WWII

Date nominated: Apr 12, 2010
Ratings: 10
Average rating: 3.72

Your rating: Voting members only

Edit this page

After a string of hits with the urbane Harlem Hamfats, Joe McCoy got a bit more downhome in 1940 with Big Joe and His Washboard Band. The group combined the upbeat swing of the Hamfats with jug band instrumentation, including Joe's cousin Robert Lee McCoy (a.k.a. Robert Nighthawk) on harmonica and Amanda Sortier on washboard. In 1941, the group added brother Charlie McCoy on mandolin and updated its name to Big Joe and His Rhythm, continuing with the same kind of repertoire and adding a remake of one of Joe's biggest hits, "Oh Red's Twin Brother."



Name Instruments Birth Death
Robert Brown a.k.a. "Washboard Sam" Washboard 07/15/10 Walnut Ridge, AK 11/06/66 Chicago, IL
Ransom Knowling Upright Bass, Washtub Bass
Charlie McCoy a.k.a. "Papa Charlie" Mandolin 05/26/11 Hinds County, MS 07/26/50 Chicago, IL
Joe McCoy a.k.a. "Kansas Joe" Guitar 05/11/05 Hinds County, MS 01/28/50 Chicago, IL
Robert Lee McCoy a.k.a. "Nighthawk" Harmonica 11/30/09 Helena, AR 11/05/67 Helena, AR
Harmon Ray Voice
Amanda Sortier Washboard


Title Recorded  
I Love You Baby 12/17/40 Chicago, IL
I'm Through With You 12/17/40 Chicago, IL
If You Take Me Back 12/17/40 Chicago, IL Chords and Lyrics
When You Said Goodbye 12/17/40 Chicago, IL
Let's Try Again 07/23/41 Chicago, IL
Oh Red's Twin Brother 07/23/41 Chicago, IL
We Can't Agree 07/23/41 Chicago, IL
What Will I Do? 07/23/41 Chicago, IL
Bessie Lee Blues 01/30/42 Chicago, IL
Come Over and See Me 01/30/42 Chicago, IL
Got To Go Blues 01/30/42 Chicago, IL
I'll Get You Off My Mind 01/30/42 Chicago, IL
It Ain't No Lie 01/30/42 Chicago, IL
Sleeping By Myself 01/30/42 Chicago, IL