Teddy Weatherford’s Cabin in the Sky

This recording by Teddy Weatherford and his band features three trumpet players. One of them is George Banks, father of the pianist Louis Banks. The other two hornmen, both Anglo-Indians, studied at St Mary’s School in Byculla: Bill McDermott (pictured above) and Pat Blake (who would later sit in with the Duke Ellington band when it toured India in 1962).

Thanks to Maxine Steller for this photo. This track is from the Marco Pacci collection. Kitty Walker is the vocalist.

Cabin in the Sky was the title song of a movie of the same name directed by Vincent Minelli. The plot was a variation on the story of Faust. It was a landmark film because it featured a cast that was entirely African-American. Perhaps the most popular tune from the film is the gently swinging Taking a Chance on Love.

Cabin in the Sky by Teddy Weatherford by Taj Mahal Foxtrot

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5 Responses
  1. Angie Middleton says:

    I recognized the very handsome Bill McDermott who I last saw in 1947 when he was playing with Rudy Cotton’s Band at Hakmans Grand Hotel in Mussoorie…. what a fabulous trumpeter he was..All the girls had a crush on him!!!
    Does anyone know where he went and what happened to him??

  2. Roy Holliday says:

    Naresh, Thanks for the picture of Bill McDermott who was in Rudy’s Band at Hakmans alongside Pat Blake. Could the Angie who made the comment be Angela Quigley, who was spending the summer in Mussoorie with her sister. She was a major’s daughter and a vey attractive young lady, who may or may not remember the drummer from the Royal Air Force who was on leave in Mussoorie at the time.

  3. Angela Middleton says:

    Yes that’s me Roy and of course I remember you!!! I ‘m amazed that you remember ME!…Those were such happy, innocent days in Mussoorie….I would love to keep in touch …it would be so interesting to see how the years have treated those two VERY young people…..
    I’m on Facebook………………
    I’m still sitting here grinning like a cheshire cat…

    • Roy Holliday says:

      Angela I too am on face and look forward to hearing from you. Almost 67 years ago and the memories of you, your sister. Rudy’s band and Hakman’s are still very clear in my mind. We were VERY young but the fact that the wonderful atmosphere that existed in Mussoorie at that time has stayed so vividly in my memory was largely due to you being there.

  4. Ben McCloud says:


    Bill Mcdermott was my Granddad, one of the most inspiring men I have ever known and someone that even to this day I love and respect. Although I cannot fill in too many blanks about his career as despite me and my family BEGGING him to write his life down, he never did. He died in 2007 and this is for us when the music stopped playing.

    I know his trumpet playing took him all over the world, including cruise ships such as the Queen Mary, I don’t think the ladies crushes ever stopped either lol. His trumpet is something we still have now.

    I have fond memories of watching him play and wanting to learn…but as Kids do I lost interest. Music was always playing throughout his house and I remember on sleepovers at his we would fall asleep to various jazz sounds.

    He raised his family and eventually passed living in Stockwell London.

    I appreciate this post was last messaged in 2014, but I would love any pictures or stories you may have on Bill Mcdermott please.

    Thank you very much


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