Buster Pickens (June 3, 1916 – November
24, 1964) 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.
He was born Edwin Goodwin Pickens in Hempstead, Texas.
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. From that time, Pickens described people doing the slow drag
to 'slow low-down dirty blues' in barrelhouse joints.
Following service in the United States Army in World War II, Pickens
returned to Houston, Texas. 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
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). Pickens had by this time also recorded his own debut solo album,
Buster Pickens (1960), and appeared in the 1962 film, The Blues.
Pickens was shot dead, following an argument in a bar in Houston, in
Buster Pickens (1960) - Heritage Records
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'.