McKinney's Cotton Pickers
|Tags:||dixieland jazz big band 1920s gramophone old little-known brilliance|
|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
Originally formed shortly after the end of World War I by drummer Bill McKinney (17 September 1895, Cynthiana, Kentucky, USA, d. 14 October 1969, Cynthiana, Kentucky, USA), the band adopted their name in 1926. By this time McKinney was manager, having hired Cuba Austin to replace himself on the drums. Although geared towards harmless hokum, novelty songs and other aspects of currently popular entertainment, the arrival in 1927 of arranger Don Redman turned the band onto a jazz course. Among the many fine musicians who played in the band in its earlier years were Joe Smith, Doc Cheatham, Claude Jones and Fats Waller. Resident for several years at Detroits Graystone Ballroom, promoter Jean Goldkettes flagship venue, the unit made a huge impression upon other bands and their arrangers. In 1931, Redman left, forming his own outfit from a nucleus of McKinney musicians. This was a blow from which the band never fully recovered. Even though several important...