Today in Blues history – January 3, 1980 – Amos Milburn RIP
The most well-rounded talent of rock’s first half dozen years, Amos Milburn combined a soulful voice with exceptional songwriting skills and impressive chops on the piano to become one of the brightest stars in the early rock universe.
The Texas born Milburn showed an early inclination towards rocking with a handful of cuts as a teenager which pre-dated rock ‘n’ roll’s official birth but gave notice there was a new style poised to emerge. Signed to Aladdin Records in Los Angeles he was paired with A&R man Maxwell Davis and the two forged an innate working relationship the equal of any artist and producer in rock history, their abilities meshing perfectly as Davis’s saxophone was the ideal compliment to Milburn’s style.
Milburn singlehandedly carried Aladdin’s rock reputation for years, scoring 19 hits, including four #1’s over his time with the company. His catalog ran the gamut from scorching party anthems to mournful laments and sublime songs of seduction making each varied approach seem completely natural and entirely effortless.