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Between 1960 and 1971, the Mike Cotton Sound transformed themselves several times, starting out playing traditional jazz, switching to rock & roll and blues, ending up as a progressive soul band backing R&B/jazz veteran Zoot Money.
The band achieved hit parade success with, “Swing That Hammer,” in 1963. Mike’s band was one of the busiest ensembles in England, backing such visiting American performers as Solomon Burke, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, and Gene Pitney. More than a decade after the group’s one hit, they were playing sessions with the Kinks. Additionally, members of the Mike Cotton Sound went on to play key roles in such outfits as the Animals and Argent.
Playing as many as 300 gigs a year, primarily in clubs in the north of England, where they were best known, Mike’s band also became popular on radio and television. Mike also landed a performance onscreen in the 1962 movie, “The Wild and the Willing”.
The band was featured by Apple Records on Mary Hopkin’s “Postcard” album.
In 1971, the band finally split up, although Mike Cotton and his fellow brassmen were recruited by the Kinks for some notable mid-’70s recording sessions.