Friday, July 31, 2009
Roy Milton born this day in 1907
Milton's grandmother was a Chickasaw. He was born in Wynnewood, Oklahoma and grew up on an Indian reservation before moving to Tulsa, Oklahoma. 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 record label. His big break came in 1946, when his "R. M. Blues", on the new Juke Box label, became a 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).