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Ann Cook

Ann Cook (? – September 29, 1962) was an American blues and gospel singer. Born and raised in rural Louisiana, Cook moved to New Orleans as a teenager. She served as a prostitute and singer in the Storyville neighborhood, living in an area known as "The Battlefield".

She worked out of Willie Piazza's brothel during the later years of Storyville's existence, and after the end of World War I and Storyville's dismantling, Cook moved to Rampart Street. During this time she worked on two of her surviving recordings, "Mama Cookie Blues" and "He’s the Sweetest Black Man in Town", which were originally published by Victor Records in 1927. At the time, her voice was considered so well-liked that it could "stop the traffic on Rampart Street".

In the late 1940s and 1950s, Cook left the blues and began to take up gospel music, working with Wooden Joe Nicholas and his band on the single The Lord Will Make a Way, released in 1949. Blues historian Bill Russell had attempted to have Cook record more blues music during this time due to a revival of New Orleans blues. She refused to return to blues music and continued with gospel music until her death in 1962.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 10th, 1903 (St. Francisville), Died September 29th, 1962 (New Orleans)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-37981 10-in. 3/7/1927 Mamma Cookie Ann Cook Female vocal solo, with instrumental quartet vocalist, composer  
Victor BVE-37982 10-in. 3/7/1927 He's the sweetest black man in town Ann Cook Female vocal solo, with instrumental quartet vocalist, composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Cook, Ann," accessed August 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108579.

Cook, Ann. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108579.

"Cook, Ann." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 August 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108579

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