Sunday, January 17, 2016
Roy Milton - Instant Groove
Milton’s grandmother was a Chickasaw. He was born in Wynnewood, Oklahoma and grew up on a reservation before moving to Tulsa. He joined the Ernie Fields band in the late 1920s as singer and, later, drummer.
Moving to Los Angeles, California in 1933, he formed his own band, the Solid Senders, with Camille Howard on piano. He performed in local clubs and began recording in the 1940s, his first release being "Milton's Boogie" on his own label. His big break came in 1946, when his "R. M. Blues", on the new Juke Box label, became a big hit, reaching # 2 on the Billboard R&B chart and # 20 on the pop chart. Its success helped establish Art Rupe’s company, which he shortly afterwards renamed Specialty Records.
Milton and his band became a major touring attraction, and he continued to record successfully for Specialty Records through the late 1940s and early 1950s. He recorded a total of 19 Top Ten R&B hits, the biggest being "Hop, Skip and Jump" (# 3 R&B, 1948), "Information Blues" (# 2 R&B, 1950), and "Best Wishes" (# 2 R&B, 1952). He left Specialty in 1955. However, releases on other labels were unsuccessful, and the development of rock and roll had rendered him something of an anachronism by the middle of the decade.
Nevertheless he continued to perform, appearing in 1970 as a member of Johnny Otis’ band at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and resuming his recording career in the 1970s with albums for Kent Records and the French label Black & Blue. Milton died in 1983 in Los Angeles. These recordings are from 1977 and recorded in France; not Blues but more laid back R&B.