The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

6 August 2005

Indeed he made it

I was gearing up to do a memorial piece for Blues Hall of Fame member Little Milton, who died Thursday at the age of seventy, but Matt Rosenberg has already done a better one, so I'll point you to it instead.

In passing, I'll note that one of Milton's sidemen — er, sidepersons — in the late 1950s was pianist Fontella Bass; as the story goes, Milton was running late for a gig one night and bandleader Oliver Sain asked her to do a vocal to fill time. It went well enough to get Bass a featured-vocal spot each night, and eventually she and Sain struck out on their own, the result being the sublime "Rescue Me" in 1965.

And 1965 was also the year of Milton's biggest chart hit, "We're Gonna Make It", which was a little more pop than most of Milton's records — indeed, a little more pop than most of what Chess was releasing those days — but which always jumps out at you on those infrequent instances when you hear it on the radio.

Posted at 1:46 PM to Tongue and Groove

I had the privilege of hearing Little Milton a few years ago as part of one of those House of Blues package tours. That night he seemed to be channeling B.B. King. He put on a good show.

Posted by: The Prop at 8:38 PM on 6 August 2005