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Cotton Crop Blues
by James Cotton
James Cotton (1935 to 2017) was an American harmonica player and singer. James Henry Cotton was born in Tunica, Mississippi, USA, on July 1st 1935. He first became interested in music when he heard Sonny Boy Williamson II on the radio, and left home with his uncle to move to Williamson's home town of West Helena, Arkansas. After making contact, Williamson would go on to mentor Cotton during his formative years as a young musician. Although he played drums early in his career, he became more famous for his harmonica playing, and started his professional career playing the 'blues' "harp" in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He went on to make his first recordings in Memphis for 'Sun Records' under the direction of Sam Phillips, and in 1955 was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band (becoming Waters' bandleader and staying with the group for many years). He formed his own 'Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet' (with Otis Spann on piano) in about 1965, in order to record between his periodic gigs with Waters, though he eventually left completely to front a full-time touring group. His first full album, "The James Cotton Blues Band", was produced in 1967 for 'Verve Records' by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and singer/songwriter Nick Gravenites (both later members of the band 'Electric Flag'). In the 1970s, Cotton returned to play harmonica on Waters' "Grammy" award winning 1977 album "Hard Again", produced by Johnny Winter, and won a 'Best Traditional Blues Album' "Grammy" himself in 1996 for the LP "Deep in the Blues". In 2006, he was inducted into the "Blues Hall of Fame" at a ceremony conducted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis, having won or shared a total of ten "Blues Music Awards" during his career. James Cotton died from pneumonia at a medical center in Austin on March 16th 2017, aged 81. http://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/2017/03/16/520453907/james-cotton-legend-of-the-blues-harmonica-dies-at-81
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cotton
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away every year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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