William McKinney, showman-drummer, formed his Cotton Pickers in Springfield, Ohio in 1922, but it was not until the summer of 1928 that they commenced their short but illustrious recording career for Victor. In the autumn of 1931 Don Redman, who did most of the arrangements, took a band of his own, including in it several of the Cotton Pickers. The Cotton Pickers were based originally in the Greystone Ballroom in Detroit, opposite Jean Goldkette's excellent White orchestra, but by the early part of 1929 we find them in Harlem at various nightspots. Their personnel varied as any personnel in a band this size, but in it's ranks were at one time such brilliant stars of the Harlem Jazz firmament as Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Lonnie Johnson, James P. Johnson, Joe Smith, Ed Cuffee, Claude Jones and Fats Waller. The original policy of the band was to play hot numbers, many of which were composed by Redman and/or other musicians in the band, but once in New York, with a recording contract from Victor that was demanding of all its artists a more commerical approach to work, the Cotton Pickers included a repertoire of the better popular hits of the day, giving them a rich and rare treatment, with warm section work and beautifully executed soli . Although the brass bass is supposed to be heavier than a string bass, in Billy Taylor's hands it is a living thing, giving adequate support to Wilborn's lively banjo and Austin's crisp drumming.

Taken from the book Recorded Jazz: A Critical Guide by Rex Harris and Brian Rust.

Title Recording Date Recording Location Company
After All, You're All I'm After
Vocalrefrain by George Bias

(Newman / Young / Lorraine)
11-5-1930 New York, New York Victor
23024-B
Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Clarence Williams / Charles Warfield )
7-28-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22511-B
Victor
62-0084-B
Beedle-Um-Bum
(Thomas A. Dorsey)
4-9-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38052-A
Bluebird
B-6595-A
Blues Have Sure Got Me
(Stanton / Don Redman)
7-29-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
62-0084-A
Come A Little Closer
(Jimmy Green / Frank Aquino)
11-18-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23035-B
Cotton Picker's Scat
Vocal refrain by George Thomas and chorus

(Don Redman / William McKinney)
7-31-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23012-A
Cherry (2)
Vocal refrain by Jean Napier

(Don Redman)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21730-A
Cherry (3)
Vocal refrain by Jean Napier

(Don Redman)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21730-A
Crying And Sighing
(John Nesbitt)
7-11-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38000-A
Do Something
(Bud Green / Sam Stept)
4-9-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38051-B
Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? (1)
(Gus Kahn / Ted Fiorito)
9-8-1931 Camden, New Jersey RCA
430272
Do You Believe In Love At First Sight? (2)
(Gus Kahn / Ted Fiorito)
9-8-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22811-A
Four Or Five Times
(Byron Gay / Marceo H. Hellman)
7-11-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21583-A
Gee, Ain't I Good To You?
(Don Redman / Andy Razaf)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38097-A
Bluebird
B-10249-A
HMV
B.4967
Hello
(Don Redman / Wilson)
11-5-1930 New York, New York Victor
23031-A
Honeysuckle Rose (1)
(Andy Razaf / Fats Waller)
2-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
Honeysuckle Rose (2)
(Andy Razaf / Fats Waller)
2-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
unissued
Hullabaloo
(From Warner Bros. picture "Dancing Sweeties")
Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

(Walter O'Keefe / Bobby Dolan)
7-30-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22511-A
I'd Love It (1)
(Don Redman / Will Hudson)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38133-B
HMV
B.4967
I'd Love It (2)
(Don Redman / Will Hudson)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38133-B
Victor
62-0059-B
If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (1)
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Henry Creamer / James P. Johnson)
1-31-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38118-A
If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight (2)
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Henry Creamer / James P. Johnson)
1-31-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38118-A
I'll Make Fun For You 1-31-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38142
I Miss A Little Miss
(Who Misses Me In Sunny Tennessee)

Vocal refrain by George Bias

(Tod Seymour / J. Fred Coots)
11-5-1930 New York, New York Victor
23024-A
It's A Lonesome Old Town
(When You're Not Around)
(1)
Vocal refrain by Lois Deppe

(Harry Tobias / Charles Kisco)
2-12-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22628-A
It's A Lonesome Old Town
(When You're Not Around)
(2)
Vocal refrain by Lois Deppe

(Harry Tobias / Charles Kisco)
2-12-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22628-A
It's A Percious Thing Called Love
(Davis / Coots)
4-8-1929 Camden, New Jersey Victor
V-38051-A
It Feels So Good 4-9-1929 New York, New York Victor
It's Tight Like That
(Thomas A. Dorsey / Hudson Whittaker)
11-23-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38013-A
Bluebird
B-6304
I've Found A New Baby
(Spencer Williams)
4-8-1929 Camden, New Jersey Victor
V-38061-B
Bluebbird
B-7695-B
I Want A Little Girl (2)
with vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Billy Moll / Mencher)
7-30-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23000-B
I Want A Little Girl (3)
with vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Billy Moll / Mencher)
7-30-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23000-B
I Want A Little Girl (4)
(Billy Moll / Mencher)
7-30-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23000-B
I Want Your Love (1)
Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

(Don Redman / Palmer)
11-5-1930 New York, New York Victor
22638-A
I Want Your Love (2)
Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

(Don Redman / Palmer)
11-5-1930 New York, New York Victor
22638-A
Just A Shade Corn
Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

(Abe Maule)
7-28-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23012-B
Laughing At Life (1)
(N. Kenny / C. Kenny / "Cornell" Todd)
11-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23020-B
Laughing At Life (2)
(N. Kenny / C. Kenny / "Cornell" Todd)
11-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23020-B
Milenberg Joys (2)
(Jelly Roll Morton)
7-11-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21611-A
Milenberg Joys (3)
(Jelly Roll Morton)
7-11-1928 Chicago, Illinois RCA X
Miss Hannah
Vocal refrain by Don Redman

(Don Redman / John Nesbitt)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38102-A
Never Swat A Fly
(from the FOX picture "Just Imagine")

(Buddy De Sylva / Lew Brown / Ray Henderson)
11-4-1930 New York, New York Victor
23020-A
Victor
62-0085-B
Nobody's Sweetheart
(Gus Kahn / Ernie Erdman / Elmer Schoebel/ Billy Meyers)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38000-B
Bluebird
B-5728-B
Okay, Baby
vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Tracey / Maceo Pinkard)
7-29-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23000-A
Peggy
(Bismer / Buckley / Head)
11-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38133-A
Victor
62-0059-A
Plain Dirt
(C. Stanton)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38097-B
Put It There
(Todd Rhodes)
7-11-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38025-B
Rocky Road
(Arthur Gibbs / Joe Gray)
11-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
62-0085-A
Save It, Pretty Mama
(Don Redman)
4-8-1929 Camden, New Jersey Victor
V-38061-A
Victor
B-7695-A
Bluebird
7695-A
Sellin' That Stuff
(Thomas A. Dorsey)
4-9-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38052-A
Bluebird
B-6595-B
She's My Secret Passion
Vocal refrain by Donald King

(Val Valentine / Arthur Young)
2-12-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22628-B
Shim-Me-Sha-Wabble
(Spencer Williams)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21611-B
Some Sweet Day
(Rose / Jackson / Olman)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
21730-B
Stop Kidding
(Neckbones And Sauerkraut)
(1)

(John Nesbitt)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois RCA X
Stop Kidding (2)
(John Nesbitt)
7-12-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38025-A
Talk To Me (1)
Vocal refrian by Don Redman

(Don Redman)
11-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
22640-A
Talk To Me (2)
Vocal refrian by Don Redman

(Don Redman)
11-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
22640-A
There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder
(Jolson / Rose / Dreyer)
11-23-1928 Chicago, Illinois Victor
V-38013-B
The Way I Feel Today
(Howdy Quicksell / Don Redman / Andy Razaf)
11-5-1929 New York, New York Victor
V-38102-B
Then Someone's In Love
(Prival / Pollack)
1-31-1930 New York, New York Victor
To Whom It May Concern
Vocal refrain by Lois Deppe

(Mitchell / Gottier / Meyer)
11-17-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23035-A
Travelin' All Alone
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(J.C. Johnson)
2-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38112-B
Bluebird
5647
Where Ever There's A Will Baby (2)
(Don Redman)
11-7-1929 New York, New York Victor
22736-B
Bluebird
B-10249-B
Where Ever There's A Will Baby (3)
(Don Redman)
11-7-1929 New York, New York RCA
RA 5314
Will You, Won't You Babe? 4-8-1929 Camden, New Jersey Victor
Words Can't Express The Way I Feel (1)
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Stanton / Don Redman / Andy Razaf)
1-31-1930 New York, New York Bluebird
5647
Words Can't Express The Way I Feel (2)
Vocal refrain by George Thomas

(Stanton / Don Redman / Andy Razaf)
1-31-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38112-A
Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
(And Dream Your Troubles Away)

(Ted Koehler / Harry Barris / Billy Moll)
9-8-1931 Camden, New Jersey Victor
22811-B
You're Driving Me Crazy
Vocal Wilborn by Dave Wilborn

(Walter Donaldson)
11-17-1930 Camden, New Jersey Victor
23031-B
Zonky
Vocal refrain by Dave Wilborn

(Andy Razaf / Fats Waller)
2-3-1930 New York, New York Victor
V-38118-B
Bluebird
B-5728-A
Artist Instrument
Cuba Austin Drums, Vocals
George Bias Vocals
Benny Carter Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Doc Cheatham Trumpet
Bill Coti Vocals
Langston Curl Trumpet
Ed Cuffee Trombone
Sidney de Paris Trumpet
Lois Deppe Vocals
Leonard Davis Trumpet
Jimmy Dudley Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Ralph Escudero Tuba
Coleman Hawkins Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Robert Inge Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Quentin Jackson Trombone
Moxey-Hilton Jefferson Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
James P. Johnson Piano
Claude Jones Trombone
Buddy Lee Trumpet
Donald King Vocals
Kaiser Marshall Drums
Frank Marvin Vocals
Theodore McCord Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Jim Napier Vocals
John Nesbitt Trumpet, Arranger
Don Redman Arranger, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Vocals, Leader
Todd Rhodes Piano, Celeste
Prince Robinson Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone
Milton Senior Trumpet
Joe Smith Trumpet, Cornet
Rex Stewart Cornet
Billy Taylor Tuba
George Thomas Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Fats Waller Piano, Celeste
Dave Wilborn Banjo, Vocals


Thanks to Dennis Pereyra for his help with this page.