James Cotton, Blues Harmonica Veteran, Dead at 81

Blues harmonica virtuoso and onetime Muddy Waters sideman James Cotton died on Thursday at a medical center in Austin of pneumonia. He was 81. A rep for the musician confirmed his death.

Cotton, who was born on a cotton farm in Tunica, Mississippi on July 1st, 1935, came to prominence in the Fifties when he cut two singles for the fledging label Sun Records and performed gigs with

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: James Cotton, Blues Harmonica Veteran, Dead at 81