page top

Cotton Babes

Add to bookbag Add to Bookbag | Bookbag (0)

Item Description

Title: Cotton Babes


  • Weinrich, Percy


  • Lechnyr, Joseph


  • UVM Band

Source Document

Extent: 1 sound disc: analog, 78 rpm ; 10 in.

Date Created: 1940 [approximate] - 1959 [approximate]


"Cotton Babes" was the signature musical piece used for Kake Walk.  All Kake Walkers choreographed their high-stepping dances to the beat of this instrumental piece. It was performed live by the UVM band during the Walk. The syncopated melody was composed by Percy Weinrich around 1910 in the easy-to-follow musical style of the national cakewalk dance craze, then in its height.  "Cotton Babes" was used as the Kake Walk theme starting in 1912 or 1913. Tradition holds that the university's sheet music was destroyed in a fire in 1929 and that UVM Band Director Joseph Lechnyr rewrote the music from memory. The original record was probably produced in the 1940s - 1950s. Its green and gold label reads: University of Vermont / Cotton Babes / Arranged by Dr. Joseph F. Lechnyr / University of Vermont Band / Director, Dr. Joseph F. Lechnyr / 77764

Genre(s): sound recordings


Note [Digital Version]

2010-05-12, Center for Digital Initiatives, University of Vermont Libraries

Type of Resource: sound recording

Parent Collections

Access Conditions

Requests to reproduce this item should be sent to the UVM Libraries' Center for Digital Initiatives at For more information, see
More information.

Permanent Link:

Preferred citation

Cotton Babes, University Archives, Record Group 53: Fraternities and Sororities, Series: Kake Walk, (accessed January 19, 2018)

Add a comment:


* Optional

User Comments

o.k. found the sound.I Kake-Walked for Phi Sig in 1952

- Alan Turner

P.S. My partner and I walked in purple face in 1952 with no stereotype makeup.

- Alan Turner

i was unable to access this item.Can you send it to me

- joseph Levin '62

I have an original record with the Green & Gold label form the University of Vermont "Cotton Babes". What is the value of said record and is there any interest in purchasing said record?

- Joel Staub

Alan Turner, I am a Hampshire student (Amherst, MA) doing a project on Kake Walk and I would love to talk to you about your experiences. Please let me know if you are open to this, I think it could really strengthen my project. email me at it you are interested. thanks, Sam

- Sam Anderson


- JACK STETSON M.D. Try the above link.


My husband, Jim Healy,along with Carroll Hamm won Kakewalk in '52 (53') for Kappa Sig. He passed March 3rd and at his interment service in Barre, Vt, Bruce Judd mentioned Jim and Kakewalk.

- Carol Healy

So many memories. Phi Sigma Deltans were big winners in the'50s. 60th reunion upcoming Have 1955 Cynic with photos and n78 RPM Cotton Babes recording

- Richard Lewis, UVM '55