One of my very favorite Chess Records from the 1960s is “Blind Man” by Little Milton, released on Chess’ Checker subsidiary. Below is a rare televised performance from January of 1966 on a show called “The !!!! Beat”. “The !!!! Beat” was a program that was hosted by Nashville disc jockey Bill “Hoss” Allen.
The song itself was originally released by Bobby “Blue” Bland, who does a jazzier rendition. But Little Milton’s version is all heart and glowing grit. Chess Records session men on the Little Milton version put in a characteristically stellar performance, as well. It’s beautifully brassy Chicago blues-soul of the highest order.
Notably, neither version of “Blind Man” was a hit. But the song was covered later in the 1960s by British rock-jazz group Traffic. A live recording of their version was released in 1969, after the original lineup of Traffic broke up.
But this is Little Milton. He’s hooked and he can’t let her go. Of this, I am wholly convinced. Jive on.
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