James Cottonwas born in Tunica, Mississippi on July 1, 1935, and from a young age fell in love with the harmonica (also known as a harp). His mother would make chicken and train sounds for the young James on her harp, and shortly after receiving his own instrument he mastered the sounds himself. His life changed forever after he first heard KKFA’s broadcast of King Biscuit Time, a blues radio show that starred harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson. As James grew, his skills matured and he learned to play many of Williamson’s songs. After his parents died when he was 9 years old, James’ uncle took him to meet Sonny Boy Williamson who took the boy under his wing after hearing him play.
Williamson’s mentorship taught the young James Cotton much and more about playing the blues harp, and…
On June 6, 1989,Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble triumphantly returned to the world of blues with their fourth and ultimately final album,In Step. After Vaughan overcame his life threatening addiction to drugs and alcohol, the guitarist returned to his band’s extensive touring schedule. Rehabilitation had given Vaughan renewed focus and a desire to create better music, both of which he applied wholeheartedly to what would be his next musical endeavor. When In Step was released, the album was…
The King of the Blues thrills San Francisco’s fabled Fillmore West in 1968. Photo by Baron Wolman.
Canned Heatrocks the foundations of 1973’s Montreux Jazz Festival with their hit song “On the Road Again”, which was adapted from Chicago blues musician Floyd Jones’ song of the same name.
Big Bill Broonzyperforms his song“Just a Dream” for the 1956 documentary, Low Light and Blue Smoke.
Welcome back toTribut’s This Week in Pop Culture, where we look at important events in history and ROCK! This edition is all about the week of June 5 through June 11.