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Little Milton
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Little Miltons Playlist

1 Walking The Backstreets And Crying
2 Id Rather Drink Muddy Water
3 Id Feel So bad
4 The Blues Is Alright

Stylistically set somewhere between the soul-blues of Bobby "Blue" Bland and the refined urban blues of B.B. King, Little Milton has spent virtually all of his career in a blues limbo. His guitar craft has always gone unchallenged; his careful attention to texture and tone and his penchant for notes that sing instead of sting has made him a staple on the chitlin' circuit for some four decades. But his inability to create a clearly identifiable sound has prevented him from crossing over into pop markets and enjoying some of the acclaim that, for years, has gone to Bland and King.

Little Milton was born and raised in Mississippi. He taught himself how to play the guitar by listening to the radio and to local bluesmen performing at Delta picnics and house parties. Influenced as much by country music as he was by the blues, Little Milton soaked in guitar styles like a sponge. His first experience as a recording artist occurred when he was a member of Willie Love's band the Three Aces in 1951. The group recorded for the Trumpet label. Milton next worked with Ike Turner, who recommended him to Sam Phillips of Sun. Phillips recorded Little Milton in 1953 and 1954, but both his records and his brand of blues went unnoticed.

Little Milton recorded one single for the Meteor label in 1957 before moving to East St. Louis, Illinois, and signing with the fledgling Bobbin label in the mid- '50s Milton's tenure with Bobbin resulted in his first semblance of a hit with "I'm a Lonely Man." He stayed with Bobbin until 1960, all the while developing a fan base on the chitlin' circuit.

Milton switched to Checker (Chess) in 1961; four years later he registered his first number 1 hit on the R&B charts with "We're Gonna Make It." Other hits for Chess followed until he left the label in 1969. Milton continued to make records and perform, recording for Stax and lesser-known labels like Glades and Golden Ear in the '70s and appearing at the Wattstax music festival in 1972. In the l980s he jumped to the Jackson, Mississippi-based Malaco label, where he remains. Little Milton's albums sell at a steady clip and epitomize the modern soul-blues sound. In 1988 Milton was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Hall of Fame. He continues to perform regularly, mostly in the South.

Little Milton