Tune into WKCR 89.9 FM this Saturday, March 18th, from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm as we celebrate the life and work of blues harmonica player and singer James "Superharp" Cotton. Cotton, known for his collaborations with Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf as well as his solo work with the James Cotton Blues Band, passed away on Thursday, March 16th, at age 81.
Born in Tunica, Mississippi in 1935, Cotton became inspired to play music after hearing Sonny Boy Williamson on the radio. By the early 1950s, Cotton -- after a short stint playing drums -- had built a reputation as a professional blues harp player, playing for Sun Records in Memphis and with the Muddy Waters Band, in which he alternated recording sessions with Little Walter. In the late 1960s, Cotton formed the James Cotton Blues Band and began releasing more of his own records, though he continued to collaborate with other artists, most notably Waters. By the 1980s and 1990s, Cotton's solo work had received widespread acclaim, particularly his 1984 record Live from Chicago: Mr. Superharp Himself! and the Grammy-winning 1996 record Deep in the Blues. In 2006, Cotton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Join us in remembering Cotton by listening on 89.9 FM or online at wkcr.org