Early SUN Records: The Blues

… Another piece of the story of Sun Records.

This is about some early blues music.

Little Milton:

Little Milton

His stay at Sun was not overly successful, he would get some recognition starting in the mid-sixties.


James Milton Campbell was born September 7, 1934, in the small Delta town of Inverness, MS, and grew up in Greenville. (He would later legally drop the “James” after learning of a half-brother with the same name.)

His father Big Milton, a farmer, was a local blues musician, and Milton also grew up listening to the Grand Ole Opry radio program. At age 12, he began playing the guitar and saved up money from odd jobs to buy his own instrument from a mail-order catalog.

By 15, he was performing for pay in local clubs and bars, influenced chiefly by T-Bone Walker but also by proto-rock & roll jump blues shouters.

He made a substantial impression on other area musicians, even getting a chance to back Sonny Boy Williamson II, and caught the attention of R&B great Ike Turner, who was doubling as a talent scout for Sam Phillips at Sun.

Turner introduced the still-teenaged Little Milton to Phillips, who signed him to a contract in 1953. With Turner’s band backing him, Milton’s Sun sides tried a little bit of everything — he hadn’t developed a signature style as of yet, but he did have a boundless youthful energy that made these early recordings some of his most exciting and rewarding.

Little Milton – Lookin’ For My Baby


Little Milton – Somebody Told Me

Unfortunately, none of Milton’s recordings were hits, and his association with Sun was over by the end of 1954. He set about forming his own band, which waxed one single for the small Meteor label in 1957, before picking up and moving to St. Louis in 1958.

Milton died on August 4, 2005 from complications following a stroke.

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