b. 14 July 1911, Oklahoma, USA, d. 12 January 1977, Hollywood, California, USA. Cotton was a popular smooth tenor big band vocalist in the 30s and 40s. He began his professional career in the early 30s, singing for several years with clarinettist Jimmy Grier’s band and appeared on the recording of ‘I’m Keeping Those Keepsakes You Gave Me’. In the late 30s he joined Horace Heidt And His Musical Knights appearing with them on Heidt’s US radio show, Pot O’ Gold (1938-41), one of radio’s first ‘giveaway’ shows, and in the film version in 1941, which starred James Stewart and Paulette Goddard. Cotton featured prominently on many of the band’s hit records, including ‘Gone With The Wind’ (a US number 1), ‘Once In A While’, ‘There’s A Gold Mine In the Sky’, ‘Sweet Someone’, ‘Sweet As A Song’, ‘Ti-Pi-Pia’ and ‘Tu-Li Tulip Time’, both with Lysbeth Hughes; ‘Little Sir Echo’, with Emily Stevenson; ‘Lovelight In The Starlight’, ‘I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire’, with Donna Wood and Don Juans; ‘Shepherd Serenade’, with Gordon MacRae and Fred Lowery; and ‘Penny Serenade’. After serving with the US Forces in World War II, his career faded.
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