Monday, November 29, 2010

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Little Milton

Artist:Little Milton
Song:We're Gonna Make It
Album:Greatest Hits: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Though he is compared frequently to blues legend Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton was not as well known because he bounced around several record companies. So his music lacked consistency. But his best music for Chess in the 60s is outstanding and holds up very well. We're Gonna Make It was his biggest hit. He was born James Milton Campbell Jr. Sept. 7, 1934 in Inverness, MS and grew up in Greenville. His father was a local blues musician known as Big Milton so of course Milton Jr. became Little Milton. He played local clubs as a teen heavily influenced by T-Bone Walker. He caught the attention of Ike Turner who brought him to Sun Records owner Sam Phillips in 1953. His Sun recordings weren't successful and eventually Milton moved to St. Louis in 1958. Local DJ Bob Lyons started his own Bobbin label and Milton, Albert King and Fontella Bass recorded for that label. He worked out a distribution deal with Chess Records. Milton's Chess recordings did very well on the R & B charts. We're Gonna Make It topped the R & B singles chart in 1965 and reached #25 on the Billboard Hot 100. His follow up Who's Cheating Who reached #4 on the R & B singles chart. Milton continued to have success until Leonard Chess' 1969 death. He moved to Stax in 1971 and they attempted to turn him into more of a soul singer. But Stax was already having financial problems and they closed in 1975. Milton then went to TK. They were known for funk and disco and they tried to cross Milton over. But they closed too. He recorded a 1983 album for MCA before finally finding a home at Jackson, MS based Malaco Records. A lot of blues legends have found a home there. He recorded there and toured regularly until he suffered a stroke and died on Aug. 4, 2005 at age 70. This Chess budget comp is a must and you should also check out Milton's Malaco recordings. Little Milton was an underrated blues legend and is worth your time. Here's Little Milton performing We're Gonna Make It on the Nashville TV show The !!!! Beat 1965.

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