Pleasant Joseph, better known as Cousin Joe, (Wallace, 20 december 1907 – 2 October 1989) was an American bluesand jazzsinger, who became famous through his recordings with clarinetist Sidney Bechet and saxophonist Mezz Mezzrow.
Cousin Joe sang gospels in the Church, but later he chose for the blues. His career as a professional musician began in the 1920s: he played and sang in those years in clubs in New Orleans and on river vessels. In 1942 he went to New York, where he played and recorded with Bechet, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Billie Holidayfor example. In 1948, he returned to New Orleans, where he recorded for DeLuxe. In 1954, his music recorded for Imperial: he made the recordings under the name Smilin' Joe. In 1964 he toured England with Muddy Waters and Otis Spann, with which he also acted for the BBC-TV. In 1987 he released his autobiography "Cousin Joe: Blues From New Orleans".
- Bad Luck Blues (with Jimmy Dawkins and Gatemouth Brown), Evidence, 1971
- Bluesman from New Orleans, Big Bear Music, 1974
- Gospel Wailing, Big Bear Music, 1982
- Cousin Joe from New Orleans in His Prime, Oldie Blues/Munich, 1984
- Relaxin' in New Orleans, Great Southern, 2000
- Pleasant "Cousin Joe" Joseph & Harriet J. Ottenheimer. ' 'Cousin Joe: Blues From New Orleans. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.