Monk Higgins

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Monk Higgins
Birth nameMonk Higgins
Born(1930-10-03)October 3, 1930
Arkansas, U.S.
DiedJuly 3, 1986(1986-07-03) (aged 55)
GenresR&B, blues, crossover, Jazz
Years active1950–86
LabelsBuddah Records

Milton Bland (October 3, 1930 – July 3, 1986) better known as Monk Higgins, was an American musician and saxophonist who was born in Menifee, Arkansas.[1]


Higgins biggest hits were the instrumental tracks "Who Dun It" (which reached #30 on the US R&B chart in 1966), and "Gotta Be Funky" (#22 on the US R&B chart). His instrumental "Ceatrix Did It" (1967) was the sign-off song for soul DJ "Dr. Rock" on WMPP, East Chicago Heights, Illinois. Higgins worked with a variety of musicians including Gene Harris, Bobby Bland, The Chi-Lites, Junior Wells, Freddy Robinson, Muddy Waters, Cash McCall, Etta James, Blue Mitchell and The Three Sounds.[1] His track "One Man Band (Plays All Alone)" was featured on the breakbeat compilation album, Ultimate Breaks and Beats.

Late in his career Monk, together with his band "the Specialties", was the featured performer at television actress Marla Gibbs' Los Angeles, California supper club, known as Marla's Memory Lane Club.

Higgins died from respiratory disease in July 1986, in Los Angeles, at the age of 49.[1]

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Monk Higgins among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.[2]


As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Blue Mitchell

With The Three Sounds

With Gene Harris

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The 1980s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2014-05-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Rosen, Jody (June 25, 2019). "Here Are Hundreds More Artists Whose Tapes Were Destroyed in the UMG Fire". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Monk Higgins | Discography". AllMusic. 1986-07-03. Retrieved 2014-05-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)