Roy Milton Biography

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31 July 1907, Wynnewood, Oklahoma, USA, d. 18 September 1983, Los Angeles, California, USA. Growing up on his Chickasaw grandmother’s reservation, Milton encountered blues music when his family moved to Tulsa. In the late 20s, he was a vocalist with the Ernie Fields Orchestra; while on tour in Texas, he replaced the band’s drummer after the latter was arrested. He left the Fields band in 1933 and moved to Los Angeles. After a couple of years he formed Roy Milton And The Solid Senders with pianist Camille Howard, Buddy Floyd and Hosea Sapp. In December 1945 they recorded ‘R.M. Blues’, which became an immediate hit, establishing both Roy Milton and Specialty Records and spearheading the wave of small R&B units that tolled the death knell of the big bands. Milton remained with Specialty for 10 years, recording ballads and pop tunes alongside more popular blues and boogie material such as ‘Milton’s Boogie’, ‘Hop, Skip And Jump’, ‘T-Town Twist’ and ‘Best Wishes’. After Specialty, he recorded for Dootone, King and Warwick, but by the end of the 60s his style of music had become outdated. He appeared with Johnny Otis at the 1970 Monterey Jazz Festival and resumed a solo career that also brought him to Europe. He fell ill in 1982 and was confined to his home until his death a year later.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.