Cultural Percussionist

Little Milton Day

James Milton Campbell Jr. (September 7, 1934 – August 4, 2005), better known as Little Milton, was an American blues singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records “Grits Ain’t Groceries,” “Walking the Back Streets and Crying,” and “We’re Gonna Make It.”

Milton was born James Milton Campbell Jr., in the Mississippi Delta town of Inverness and raised in Greenville by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries. He joined the Rhythm Aces in the early part of the 1950s, a three piece band who played throughout the Mississippi Delta area. One of the group was Eddie Cusic who taught Milton to play the guitar. In 1952, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner, who was at that time a talent scout for Sam PhillipsSun Records. He signed a contract with the label and recorded a number of singles. None of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores, however, and Milton left the Sun label by 1955.

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