Georgia Cotton Pickers

Active: 1930s; Formed: 1929; Disbanded 1931.
Styles: Country Blues, String Bands.

This was one of the only country blues supergroups, although the name sounds more like something an announcer on the early Grand Ole Opry show might have come up with to hang on some old-time string band. The group recorded for the Atlanta-based QRS label and featured some of that city's finest country blues artists playing together, something all of them tended to do as buskers on the street more than in front of a studio microphone. Robert Hicks, also known as Barbecue Bob, got his brother Charlie Hicks in on the band, and the other members were two brilliant harmonica players, Eddie Mapp and Buddy Moss. The latter player also recorded as a guitarist and vocalist. Ace blues guitarist Curley Weaver filled out the group, whose recorded works have been re-released on the Document label on the Georgia Blues collection. These recordings were well-received at the time, up to a point. The company never had very good distribution and to make matters worse, these were some of the last blues recordings done before the Depression ground most such endeavors to a halt. Group membership was partially decimated in 1931, when within one month, Barbecue Bob dropped dead and Eddie Mapp was stabbed to death on a street corner. Probably because such a band name really belongs in country music, the next decade produced another group called the Georgia Cotton Pickers, this one playing country music and under the leadership of Paul Howard. This band's main claim to fame was the presence of fine guitarist Hank Garland, one of the few players to perform with aplomb in both the country and jazz idioms.
by Eugene Chadbourne