Cortez "Corky" McCoy is an American illustrator, known for his cartoon designs of urban African-Americans that he created for the covers art of several albums made by jazz musician and composer Miles Davis.
Information on McCoy's life before meeting Miles Davis is scarce. He was originally from Los Angeles, and was working as an artist when he met Davis. The two became close friends, and Davis and McCoy shared an apartment in New York City on West 77th Street.
McCoy created the cover art for Davis' albums ''On the Corner'' (1972), ''In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall'' (1973), ''Big Fun'' (1974), and ''Water Babies'' (1976). The artwork for the cover of ''On the Corner'' was produced at Davis' instigation. He was concerned that his music was not reaching an African-American audience, and wanted McCoy to create something that they would relate to. The reaction from Columbia Records when they saw the result was not positive. Davis insisted on using McCoy's cover art. Davis recalled in his typical blunt interview style: According to Davis, McCoy was reluctant at first, but Davis was enthusiastic about the art that McCoy produced:
McCoy's cover art for ''On the Corner'' depicts a group of cartoon characters, a scene of "ghettodelic" street life among the younger generation of African Americans. The post-1960s, funk-style fashions are similar to the spirit of the blaxploitation film images of the same era.
''In Concert: Live at Philharmonic Hall'' included illustrations inside the album by McCoy satirizing mainstream rock and roll music, with a cartoon music label "Slickophonics" and a long-haired white band with the name "Foot Fooler" on the front of the drum kit. In a 1974 review of the album, music magazine ''Coda'' characterized McCoy's illustrations for this album, and ''On the Corner'', as "tastelessness".
Davis tried commissioning two different European cartoonists to create cover art for his album ''Rubberband'' during the 1980s. He was dissatisfied with the results, and the album was ultimately never released.
In 2007, Columbia released the 6-CD box set ''The Complete On the Corner Sessions'' that included new illustrations by Corky McCoy.
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