Buster Pickens

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Buster Pickens
Birth name Edwin Goodwin Pickens
Born (1916-06-03)June 3, 1916
Hempstead, Texas, United States
Died November 24, 1964(1964-11-24) (aged 48)
Houston, Texas, United States
Genres Blues, piano blues
Occupation(s) Pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active Mid 1930s–1964
Associated acts Alger "Texas" Alexander, Lightnin' Hopkins

Buster Pickens (June 3, 1916 – November 24, 1964)[1] was an American blues pianist. Pickens is best known for his work accompanying Alger "Texas" Alexander and Lightnin' Hopkins, although he did record a solo album in 1960.

Life and career[edit]

He was born Edwin Goodwin Pickens in Hempstead, Texas.[2][3]

In the 1930s Pickens, along with Robert Shaw and others, was part of the "Santa Fe Circuit", named after touring musicians utilising the Santa Fe freight trains.[4] From that time, Pickens described people doing the slow drag to "slow low-down dirty blues" in barrelhouse joints.[5]

Following service in the United States Army in World War II, Pickens returned to Houston, Texas.[2] He appeared on his first disc recording on January 13, 1948, providing backing for Perry Cain on his single "All The Way From Texas" / "Cry Cry", released by Gold Star Records. Further recording work followed over the next eighteen months, as he played on different sessions as part of the accompaniment to Cain, Bill Hayes, and Goree Carter.[6]

Pickens later recorded for Freedom Records in 1950, playing accompaniment to Alger "Texas" Alexander on the latter's final recording session. Pickens later performed live on a regular basis with Lightnin' Hopkins, and played on several of Hopkins's albums in the early 1960s, including Walkin' This Road By Myself (1962), Smokes Like Lightning (1963), Lightnin' and Co. (1963).[6][7] Pickens had by this time also recorded his own debut solo album, Buster Pickens (1960), and appeared in the 1962 film, The Blues.[2]

Pickens was shot dead, following an argument in a bar in Houston, in November 1964.[1][2]


The album, recorded in Houston by Chris Strachwitz, Mack McCormick and Paul Oliver, comprised - "Santa Fe Train" / "Rock Island Blues" / "Ain't Nobody's Business" / "Colorado Springs Blues" / "She Caught the L & N" / "Remember Me" / "Women in Chicago" / "The Ma Grinder, No. 2" / "You Better Stop Your Woman (From Ticklin' Me Under the Chin)" / "Jim Nappy" / "Mountain Jack" / "D.B.A. Blues" / "Hattie Green" / "Backdoor Blues" / "Santa Fe Blues".[6][8]


Buster Pickens[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1960s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bonura, Larry S. "Buster Pickens". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved January 31, 2010. 
  3. ^ Ford, Robert (2007). A Blues Bibliography (2nd ed.). New York: Taylor & Francis Group. p. 8002. ISBN 0-415-97887-4. 
  4. ^ "Texas Piano Blues - 1920's & 1930's Part 5 | Big Road Blues". Sundayblues.org. 2007-08-02. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  5. ^ Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance by Marshall Winslow Stearns, Jean Stearns. 1994. Da Capo Press. p.23. ISBN 0-306-80553-7
  6. ^ a b c "Buster Pickens discography". Wirz.de. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  7. ^ "How Many More Years I Got : Lightnin' Hopkins". Concord Music Group. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  8. ^ a b "Buster Pickens - Buster Pickens | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  9. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 22. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 

External links[edit]