The Cotton Pickers

The Cotton Pickers

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Cotton Pickers was the generic band name that Brunswick Records used on its small jazz band recordings made in 1922-1923, 1924-1925, and again in 1929. These were intended to compete with popular dance records issued on other labels by groups such as Ladd's Black Aces, Bailey's Lucky Seven, and the Memphis Five. The earliest incarnation of Cotton Pickers was led by clarinetist Bennie Krueger and included trumpeter Phil Napoleon, trombonist Miff Mole, and pianist Frank Signorelli, all of who also appeared in the Memphis Five. In time practically the whole personel of the Memphis Five was brought into the ranks of Cotton Pickers, and this is the way the band stood until September of 1923. It is not known why the group stopped recording for Brunswick at this point, although one might speculate Columbia (to whom the Memphis Five was contracted exclusively) got wise as to the identity of Cotton Pickers and told Phil Napoleon and company to knock it off.

Brunswick decided to revive the name in February 1924 and continued to use it until late 1925 as a pseudonym for a small group drawn from the ranks of the New York-based Ray Miller Orchestra. At this stage the Miller band included both Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, saxophonist Frank Trumbauer, and coincidentally Miff Mole, who proved the only holdover from the earlier incarnation of Cotton Pickers. On these later Cotton Pickers sides it is Trumbauer and Mole who see most of the action, the latter spectacularly so on "Down and Out Blues."

The final 1929 batch of Cotton Pickers records, made seemingly as an afterthought, were also coordinated by Ray Miller. By that time the hot soloists of 1925 had moved on to other things, but the last sessions features vocal choruses by Libby Holman and Dick Robertson. While the name "Cotton Pickers" may have been intended as nothing more than a generic designation for hot music from Brunswick, as you can see from the names listed above, Cotton Pickers were anything but "generic."
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The Cotton Pickers Discography

Singles & EPs

2292 The Cotton Pickers State Street Blues / Hot Lips(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2292 US 1922 Sell This Version
The Cotton Pickers Loose Feet / Runnin' Wild Brunswick US 1923 Sell This Version
2404 The Cotton Pickers You Tell Her I Stutter / Way Down Yonder In New Orleans(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2404 US 1923 Sell This Version
2507 The Cotton Pickers Just Hot / Shufflin' Mose(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2507 US 1923 Sell This Version
2486 The Cotton Pickers Rampart Street Blues(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2486 US 1923 Sell This Version
2436 The Cotton Pickers When Will The Sun Shine For Me / Down By The River(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2436 US 1923 Sell This Version
2490 The Cotton Pickers Mama Goes Where Papa Goes (Or Papa Doesn't Go Out Tonight) / Walk, Jenny, Walk(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2490 US 1923 Sell This Version
2338 The Cotton Pickers I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate / Got To Cool My Doggies Now(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2338 US 1923 Sell This Version
2380 The Cotton Pickers He May Be Your Man But He Comes To See Me Sometimes / Great White Way Blues(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2380 US 1923 Sell This Version
2418 The Cotton Pickers Snakes' Hips(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2418 US 1923 Sell This Version
2766 The Cotton Pickers Prince Of Wails / Jimtown Blues(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2766 US 1924 Sell This Version
2818 The Cotton Pickers Jacksonville Gal / Mishawaka Blues(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2818 US 1925 Sell This Version
2879 The Cotton Pickers Down And Out Blues / Those Panama Mamas(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 2879 US 1925 Sell This Version
4446 The Cotton Pickers / Al Goodman And His Orchestra The Cotton Pickers / Al Goodman And His Orchestra - Moanin' Low / After Thinking It Over(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 4446 US 1929 Sell This Version
4440 The Cotton Pickers St. Louis Gal / No Parking(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 4440 US 1929 Sell This Version
1343 The Cotton Pickers / Red Nichols And His Five Pennies The Cotton Pickers / Red Nichols And His Five Pennies - Rampart Street Blues / Nobody Knows(Shellac, 10") Brunswick 1343 UK 1932 Sell This Version

Compilations

2013 The Cotton Pickers The Cotton Pickers 1929(LP, Comp, Mono) Arcadia (4) 2013 US 1980 Sell This Version
CBC 1-049 The Original Memphis Five / Napoleon's Emperors / The Cotton Pickers The Original Memphis Five / Napoleon's Emperors / The Cotton Pickers - 1928-1929(CD, Comp) Timeless Records (3) CBC 1-049 Netherlands 1998 Sell This Version
03305 The Cotton Pickers The Cotton Pickers Volume Two(LP, Comp) Grannyphone 03305 Netherlands Unknown Sell This Version
03304 The Cotton Pickers The Cotton Pickers Volume One(LP, Comp, Mono) Grannyphone 03304 Netherlands Unknown Sell This Version

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