Redman was responsible for integrating the rhythmic approach of Louis Armstrong into his arrangements for Fletcher Henderson’s Orchestra during the mid-1920s. In 1927 he was wooed away from Henderson and joined McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, the house band at the Greystone Ballroom in Detroit. During his tenure with McKinney he wrote and recorded his three best known tunes: “Gee Baby...,” “Cherry,” and “Save it Pretty Mama.” He recorded the latter tune while guesting with Louis Armstrong’s band in Chicago in December, 1928.
While with the Cotton Pickers, Redman began utilizing an unusual vocal style, more softly-spoken than sung, which proved more effective than his normal singing style. His vocal on “Gee Baby...” fits the haunting melody perfectly and brings out the best in Andy Razaf’s lyrics. The song explains why “there’s nothing too good for a gal that’s true,” and those good things include a “fur coat for Christmas, a diamond ring and big Packard coupe” (later updated to a “Cadillac car” when Packard went out of business).
Following Nat “King” Cole’s hit version in 1944, the tune started appearing in cover versions by numerous groups and eventually became more popular than when originally released in 1929.
Love makes me treat you the way that I do Gee Baby, ain't I good to you Nothing in this world too good for a girl so good and true Gee, baby, ain't I good to you
I bought you a fur coat for Christmas And a diamond ring, yes I did And a big Cadillac car, and everything
What makes me treat you the way that I do It must be love baby Gee baby ain't i good to you
I bought you a fur coat for Christmas And a diamond ring, And a great big Eldorado, and everything
It must be love that makes me treat you the way that I do Gee, Baby ain't I good to you