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LITTLE MILTON Sings Big Soul

Sings Big Soul
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(2014/KENT) 18 tracks. Killer soul sides from Milton's Malaco albums from 1984-2002, compiled by... more

LITTLE MILTON: Sings Big Soul

(2014/KENT) 18 tracks.
Killer soul sides from Milton's Malaco albums from 1984-2002, compiled by Bob Fisher and Tony Rounce.

Article properties: LITTLE MILTON: Sings Big Soul

Little Milton - Sings Big Soul CD 1
01 Misty Blue LITTLE MILTON
02 A Nickel And A Nail LITTLE MILTON
03 Rainy Night In Georgia LITTLE MILTON
04 Can't Trust Your Neighbour LITTLE MILTON
05 What Our Love Needs LITTLE MILTON
06 A Man Needs A Woman LITTLE MILTON
07 Caught In The Act (Of Gettin' It On) LITTLE MILTON
08 You Left A Goldmine For A Gold Digger LITTLE MILTON
09 That's The Way I Feel About 'cha LITTLE MILTON
10 Gonna Have A Murder On Your Hands LITTLE MILTON
11 I'd Rather Go Blind LITTLE MILTON
12 Strugglin' Lady LITTLE MILTON
13 This Time They Told The Truth LITTLE MILTON
14 With Karen Brown Mr And Mrs Untrue
15 Lovable Girl LITTLE MILTON
16 I Had A Talk With My Baby Last Night LITTLE MILTON
17 The End Of The Rainbow LITTLE MILTON
18 We're Gonna Make It LITTLE MILTON
Little Milton Little Milton Campbell was by no means diminutive. Back home in Mississippi (he... more
"LITTLE MILTON"

Little Milton

Little Milton Campbell was by no means diminutive. Back home in Mississippi (he was born in Inverness on September 7, 1934), his dad was also named Milton, so something had to be done to differentiate between the two. "People would call him Big Milton and me Little Milton, meaning senior/junior," said the late guitarist.

Milton was raised around Greenville and Leland in the blues-fertile state, picking up guitar as a youngster. "I started trying to fool around with it when I was about 12," he said. "I really liked and always idolized T-Bone Walker. To me, he was the greatest blues guitarist that ever lived, because he didn’t fuzz up his stuff. He just picked one string at a time. And this is what I do. I like to get all I can get out of one note." Greenville’s blues scene proved seductive; Campbell made his first trip into a recording studio with pianist Willie Love for Trumpet in 1951 at age 17.

Another young Mississippian was Milton’s conduit to Sun Records in 1953. "Ike Turner took me to Sun Records for the first time and did records," he said. "We didn’t know what we were gonna do. Maybe we might have had a tune or two in our minds. But we’d just go in there, set up, start playing, and we came up with a good groove and a beat, and then we recorded it. It may be slow or fast. But actually, what the trend was, we’d go by hits that were playing on the jukeboxes and the radios. Whatever another artist had going, if it was a big record, everybody cashed in on it." Milton’s Sun debut Somebody Told Me did sound a tad familiar. "Didn’t that remind you of B.B. King’s ‘Woke Up This Morning?’" he asked. "Well, we had that in mind. What you would do was change the lyrics." 

After a pair of Sun encores and two more for Lester Bihari’s Memphis-based Meteor logo in 1957, Milton became the flagship artist for the brand-new Bobbin label in his adopted hometown of St. Louis. "Ike was there about a year. He moved from Clarksdale, Mississippi up there about a year before I did," said Milton. "He'd come back (home) occasionally, and he told me how good the pickings were. So then I came. And between him and I, we were working something like 14 gigs per week apiece. We'd work every night, and we would do three or four gigs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We was young and making money and having plenty fun! 

Launched in ’58, Bobbin was owned by Bob Lyons, station manager of KATZ radio in the Gateway City. That Will Never Do and its equally swinging opposite side I’m A Lonely Man were done late that year at the station with saxists Oliver Sain, James Carr, and Vernon Harrell, trumpeter Larry Prothro, bassist Willie Dotson, drummer Jerry Walker, and an unknown pianist. Milton wrote both sides himself and played stinging lead guitar.

"I think I was really beginning to discover Little Milton as an artist back then," he said. "Finally, I got into a thing where I just felt comfortable doing tunes a certain way. Regardless of whose tunes or what tunes I did, I did ‘em me." That would be the case on his next six Bobbin singles, stretching into 1960. "Oliver Sain was the bandleader," he said. "Fontella Bass was the female vocalist for me, and the keyboard player. It brings back so many beautiful memories, man. It really does."

 

Bill Dahl
Chicago, Illinois

PLUG IT IN! TURN IT UP!

Electric Blues 1939-2005. - The Definitive Collection!

 

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Tracklist
Little Milton - Sings Big Soul CD 1
01 Misty Blue
02 A Nickel And A Nail
03 Rainy Night In Georgia
04 Can't Trust Your Neighbour
05 What Our Love Needs
06 A Man Needs A Woman
07 Caught In The Act (Of Gettin' It On)
08 You Left A Goldmine For A Gold Digger
09 That's The Way I Feel About 'cha
10 Gonna Have A Murder On Your Hands
11 I'd Rather Go Blind
12 Strugglin' Lady
13 This Time They Told The Truth
14 With Karen Brown
15 Lovable Girl
16 I Had A Talk With My Baby Last Night
17 The End Of The Rainbow
18 We're Gonna Make It