Blues legend James ‘Mr. Superhap’ Cotton dead at 81

James Cotton (Photo Source: Facebook/James Cotton Fan Page)

James Cotton (Photo source: Facebook/James Cotton Fan Page)

In the world of true blues music, you call a person who plays harmonica a ‘harp’ player and few were greater than harp legend James Cotton. He was called ‘Mr. Superharp’ and has played with music legends such as Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, B.B King, Carlos Santana, and many others. Cotton died on Thursday in Austin, TX from complications of pneumonia, he was 81.

James Cotton was born on a Tunica, Mississippi, cotton farm, July 1, 1935. Instruments like the guitar, banjo and harmonica were frequently played by farm laborers as the main form of entertainment until radio came along. It was when listening to the famous radio program “King Biscuit Time” that he became hooked on harp and harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II. Cotton would later move in with Williamson at the age of 9 to take lessons from the master. By his teen years, he began performing with Sonny Boy and Howlin Wolf and soon was a studio session player for the iconic label, Sun Records. When he was 18 he cut his first single called “Straighten Up Baby,” and after its success followed up with “Cotton Crop Blues.”

He began touring with Muddy Waters and was the harp heard in many iconic blues songs like “Mannish Boy” and “Got My Mojo Working.” In 1966, he struck out on his own and formed the James Cotton Band and was part of the emerging blues-rock genre. Cotton performed with top acts from the 1960s that included Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, B.B. King, Santana, Steve Miller and others.

He continued to be a force in blues and won a Grammy for “Best Traditional Blues Album” in 1997.His last Grammy-nominated album was in 2013 for Cotton Mouth Man. Cotton never slowed down in his older years and was still touring and performing on a regular basis. His unique sound and playing style will be missed, along with his vast knowledge of blues music in America. In total, Cotton recorded nearly 30 solo albums, winning one Grammy Award, six Living Blues Awards and 10 Blues Music Awards. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2006.

"Mo Betta" Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.

Comments

  • GordonGekko
    March 17, 2017

    1 LESS AfroNIGGERcoon.

    • SpiceGirl
      March 17, 2017

      to bad we are here to stay….You hate US so much…why comment on a story about…A BLACK MAN?????

      • GordonGekko
        March 17, 2017

        Learn to write properly, you DUMB S HIT COVERED NI GGER.

        • SpiceGirl
          March 17, 2017

          awwww…you feel better? Thanks for the laugh…..Im pretty damn sure you wouldn’t say that to a black person’s face! Pretty sure of that!!

          • GordonGekko
            March 17, 2017

            I just did NI GGER!!!

          • SpiceGirl
            March 17, 2017

            dude…lmfao…you just SCREAMED it at the screen…not my face or and other Black person’s face….this is tooooo funny……Ohhh the hate is real…pahahahahaha. Real talk…why you hate BLACKS so much??

          • Had Enough
            March 19, 2017

            “Yoos doan be likin me jus cuz da coluh of muh skeen…….” No, I don’t like your race because of your arrogance, your impulsiveness, your sudden violent outbursts, your criminal behaviour, your “Looks A Me!”, your deceitfulness, your sense of entitlement, your endless demands for Gibs Me Dat, your family values (lol), Shall I go on? It’s NOT the colour of your skin that’s the problem, it’s your TNB.

            Oh, and if one of your race even TRIES to start a genuine friendship with a white person, he/she is scorned and dismissed as an Uncle Tom! That shows right there the majority of blacks have no desire to be a part of this society, yet will spin it to make it look like racism on the WHITE’S part. Even the dense libtards are beginning to see through this!

            For such a “proud and noble people” you sure do an awful lot of bitching and complaining.

            p.s. It be 2017. Slavery ENDED 150+ years ago, time to “git ovah it”!

          • SpiceGirl
            March 20, 2017

            booooooo

          • SpiceGirl
            March 20, 2017

            Said the guy HIDING BEHIND A SCREEN AND FAKE NAME….. smh….you GIT OVAH IT!!! Blacks are here to stay!! : } You just made my day with this stupid comment! Im on cloud NINE!!

          • Had Enough
            March 20, 2017

            Oh, so it says “SpiceGirl” on your (revoked) drivers license?

          • SpiceGirl
            March 21, 2017

            sure does

      • GordonGekko
        March 17, 2017

        What is the difference between S HIT and a NI GGER? NOTHING! How were you born? Your APE ho mother took a S HIT and you came out.

        • SpiceGirl
          March 17, 2017

          more laughs….im getting a kick out of this….So much energy. I LOVE IT!!!

          • GordonGekko
            March 17, 2017

            Great!! I’m glad I made your day. Have a nice weekend!!!!!!!!

          • SpiceGirl
            March 17, 2017

            don’t worry about me…but I will pray for you….pahahahahahahahaaaaa

          • GordonGekko
            March 17, 2017

            Still, have a nice weekend. You deserve it.

  • SpiceGirl
    March 17, 2017

    May Mr. Cotton rest easy…..

  • Had Enough
    March 19, 2017

    Cotton? COTTON?! FAMBLY NAMES BEEZ RASSIS!

    • Mason Youngblood
      March 19, 2017

      Why do you hate your white skin?…I ask that question because anyone who takes all of their energy to attempt to make a sarcastic racist comment about a man who led a full life can only hate self..so I ask again..why do you hate your white skin so much?

      • Had Enough
        March 20, 2017

        Oh, my silly monkey, I am so thankful to be white. If I loathed whom I was I’d be all angry and rioting Hmm…..sound familiar?

        • Mason Youngblood
          March 20, 2017

          Only thing that sounds familiar is your hate for your own white skin by trying to be negative toward others who are not your color.

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