Inverness in Sunflower County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Little Milton Campbell
Little Milton Campbell, one of the world’s leading performers of blues and soul music for several decades, was born on the George Bowles plantation about two miles southwest of this site on September 7, 1933. Acclaimed as both a singer and guitarist, Campbell was a longtime crowd favorite at Mississippi festivals and nightclubs. His hits included “We’re Gonna Make It,” “The Blues Is Alright,” and “That’s What Love Will Make You Do.” He died in Memphis on August 4, 2005.
Little Milton There was nothing “little” in stature or physique about Milton Campbell, whose nickname served only to distinguish him from his father, “Big” Milton Campbell. As a vocalist Campbell was equally effective with powerful anthems and soft ballads, and as a guitarist he had few peers. He was also a savvy businessman who demanded professionalism from his bands and insisted on maintaining a consistent musical identity throughout his long career. Campbell produced many of his own records and booked other artists through Camil Productions, a company he
Campbell was born near Inverness but spent most of his early childhood with his mother in Magenta in Washington County. He built a one-stringed guitar on the side of his home and around age twelve he bought his first real guitar via mail order with money he had made by working in the cotton fields. He returned sometimes to stay with his father in Inverness and later performed at the town’s top blues venue, the Harlem Club, owned by Wallace Bowles (brother of plantation owner George Bowles, Jr.). Milton, however, always cited Leland blues bandleader Eddie Cusic as the first to give him experience playing for audiences. By his late teens Milton had moved to Greenville, where he performed with local luminaries including Sonny Boy Williamson No. 2, Joe Willie Wilkins, and Willie Love. He also hosted a radio program there on WGVM.
Campbell first recorded in Jackson as a sideman with Love in 1951. In 1953 talent scout Ike Turner helped Campbell land a recording contract with Sun Records in Memphis. Milton started to develop his own distinctive style after relocating in the mid-’50s to East St. Louis and later to Chicago. In St. Louis he recorded for Bobbin Records and also recruited talent for the label, including then little-known Albert King. Campbell moved on to Chicago’s Checker label, where he began to blend his blues with soul music
Erected 2009 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 68.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1948.
Location. 33° 21.19′ N, 90° 35.572′ W. Marker is in Inverness, Mississippi, in Sunflower County. Marker is on East Grand Avenue, 0.1 miles north of 2nd Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: East Grand Avenue, Inverness MS 38753, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow Inverness (within shouting distance of this marker); Hank Cochran (approx. 6.8 miles away); Freedom School Bombing (approx. 6.9 miles away); Giles Penny Savers Store (approx. 7 miles away); Club Ebony (approx. 7.3 miles away); Irene Magruder (approx. 7.3 miles away); Church Street (approx. 7.4 miles away); Riley B. King (approx. 7˝ miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Little Milton. Wikipedia entry (Submitted on December 11, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Mississippi Blues Trail. Website homepage (Submitted on September 19, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 11, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 396 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on September 19, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.