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Mon, 09.17.1934

Little Milton, Blues Musician born

Little Milton

*Little Milton was born on this date in 1934. He was a Black musician and singer.

Born and raised on a farm in the Mississippi Delta (near Inverness), Milton Campbell, Jr. was named after his father, Big Milton, who was a blues musician. His father tried hard to provide for his family by farming the land and playing the blues around town.  As time went on, Little Milton earned enough to buy a guitar. In his middle teenage years, he found Ike Turner.  Turner was "the man" when it came to getting into the business. Little Milton toured with Turner around the Delta playing the blues.

In 1953 at the age of eighteen, Turner introduced him to Sam Phillips of Sun Records.  This was his big start, it was in St. Louis at Bobbin Records where he wrote the songs I'm a Lonely Man and That Will Never Do that made Milton a prominent blues force.  About 1960 Little Milton switched to Checker Records, and five years later he had the hit We're Gonna Make It. This song was perfectly timed to coincide with the struggle for American Civil Rights. Having significant meaning for Blacks at the time, this song was the first of many big hits to come.

In 1971 Little Milton changed record labels to the Memphis-based Stax Record Company. Here he recorded Annie Mae's Cafe and Little Bluebird. His last recording company is Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi. Little Milton went there in 1984 and wrote The Blues Is Alright.  Little Milton received many awards, including the W. C. Handy 1988 Blues Entertainer of the Year. He was also inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in the same year.

Little Milton released at least five different collectible albums and over eight self-made albums.  His album, I'm a Gambler, released in 1996, sold heavily.  With age, Milton's career slowed, but not stopped.  According to the Chicago Tribune, the slowing-down in sales of his albums is the result of a generation that doesn't realize his prolific style of blues music.  In the 90's he was with Delmark Records.

His last album 'Think Of Me' was released in May 2005. Little Milton died from a stroke on August 4, 2005.

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