Interview with Little Milton Campbell

Wednesday, August 15: 3:05 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Little Milton Campbell talks about Elvis Presley in a rare 2005 interview

"Back then, people weren't saying this is a new thing, rock and roll," said blues guitarist and vocalist Little Milton Campbell in Memphis, Tennessee, during a March 2005 interview with members of the Rock Hall's education staff. "I think what brought that to focus was the fact that Elvis [Presley] did it. He was the only white boy at that time that had the guts to do what he felt, the movements. A lot of folks don't realize that this man caused pure hell doing the kind of music that he was doing." Campbell, who was first noticed by talent scout Ike Turner as a teen and launched his recording career under the direction of Sam Phillips at Sun Records in the early 1950s, had a profound understanding of the blues and unique perspective and insights on the evolution of rock and roll. At the time of the interview, the Rock Hall's education department had started recording interviews with artists and seminal figures in the history of rock and roll as part of an oral histories project to help develop the Museum's distance learning program in order to bring rock and roll education to classrooms across the globe. After traveling from his home in Memphis to meet the education staff at a hotel in the city's downtown, Campbell talked about the pre–rock and roll era, explaining the nuances and social impact of Elvis Presley's explosion in popularity and the sound he brought to the masses. It was one of the last interviews Campbell did before passing away in August 2005.



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