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JAMES COTTON

IMAGES OF JAMES COTTON BY KURT SWANSON AND SOULFUL IMPRESSIONS
E MAIL: kurtswanson@juno.com

James Cotton (called Cotton by his friends) was born
on the first day of July,1935, in Tunica, Mississippi. He was the
youngest of eight brothers and sisters who grew up in the cotton fields working beside their mother, Hattie, and their father, Mose. On Sundays Mose was the preacher in the area's Baptist church. Cotton's earliest memories include his mother playing chicken and train sounds on her harmonica and for a few years he thought those were the only two sounds the little instrument made. His Christmas present one year was a harmonica, it cost 15 cents, and it wasn't long before he mastered the chicken and the train. King Biscuit Time, a 15-minute radio show, began broadcasting live on KFFA, a station just across the Mississippi River in


Helena, Arkansas. The star of the show was the harmonica legend, Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller). The young Cotton pressed his little ear to the old radio speaker. He recognized the harmonica sound AND discovered something - the harp did more! Realizing this, a profound change came over him, and since that moment, Cotton and his harp have been inseparable - the love affair had begun. Soon he was able to play Sonny Boy's theme song from the radio show and, as he grew so did his repertoire of Sonny Boy's other songs. Mississippi summers are ghastly, the heat is unrelenting. He was too young to actually work in the cotton fields, so little Cotton would bring water to those who did. When it was time for him to take a break from his job, he would sit in the shadow of the plantation foreman's horse and play his harp. His music became a source of joy for his first audience. James Cotton's star began to shine brightly at a very early age.

Cotton has always been known for having one of the best bands in the business. The members are: Slam Allen, guitar, vocals; Tom Holland, guitar, vocals; Noel Neal, bass; Kenny Neal, Jr., drums; and, of course, Superharp, James Cotton. His eyes light up when he talks about his band, "My audience always tells me how I'm doing. If I look out there and don't like what I see, I work harder." His audiences are still on their feet, they enjoy themselves as much as he does, and there are still standing ovations night after night. You will have a memorable evening with an international treasure and a true Living Legend of the Blues.

Fact: the year 2008 is Cotton's 64th year in the entertainment business. What an amazing adventure this man is experiencing with his little harmonica. Congratulations SUPERHARP!

-Copyright 2008 by Jacklyn Hairston
Darrell Nulisch and James Cotton
Darrell Nulisch and James Cotton
James Cotton 2012
James Cotton 2012
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON & JOHNNY WINTER
JAMES COTTON & JOHNNY WINTER
James Cotton Superharp
James Cotton "Superharp"
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON AND JODI WILLIAMS.jpg
JAMES COTTON AND JODI WILLIAMS.jpg
JODI WILLIAMS AND JAMES COTTON.jpg
JODI WILLIAMS AND JAMES COTTON.jpg
JAMES COTTON
JAMES COTTON