Today we have a double birthday celebrating two of the greatest bluesmen, Willie Dixon and James Cotton!
Willie Dixon was born in 1915 and James Cotton in 1935; Dixon is no longer with us, but Cotton is still here and still playing the blues, most recently nominated for best Blues album at the Grammys (read my rant here).
Dixon was the fore-front singer-songwriter and poet of the blues, writing several key hits and classics for other bluesmen such as 'Hoochie Cootchie Man' for Muddy Waters, 'Spoonful' for Howlin' Wolf, and others. He also was a formidable bass player.
Cotton is one of the best and most influential blues harp players (see more players here) of early Chicago blues, first by being in Muddy Waters' band and performed on many of his classics, but also as a solid solo artist and has won a Grammy award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
Two pillars, two birthdays! Here's a rare video with Dixon and Cotton on stage with the rest of the legends, Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Spann, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Mable Hillery.