b. May 21st, 1920 in West Memphis (Arkansas)

d. June 20th, 1991 in Chicago (Illinois)

SWINGING THE BLUES

Blues Over Blues

Earwig

July 1979

Initié à l'harmonica par son père, il s'installe à Chicago en 1939. Willie cotoie alors les jeunes bluesmen de la ville et notamment Johnny Young qui l'embauche dans son groupe. Influencé par Little Walter, il devient rapidement son valet, chauffeur, ami et, parfois, remplaçant sur scène. Selon les notes de pochette de Dick Shurman, Willie tenta d'enregistrer pour Chess et Cobra mais sans succès. En 1975, il participe à une séance pour le label Mr Blues qui, malheureusement, ne verra jamais la lumière du jour. Tout en continuant son activité de sideman (il accompagne Johnny Young au festival d'Ann Arbor en 1970), il exerce le métier de maçon. Cet album fut sa seule occasion de graver un album complet. Superbement accompagné (Robert Lockwood Jr, Fred Below parmi d'autres), Willie livre un excellent disque de Chicago Blues passant avec aisance du Marine Band diatonique à l'harmonica chromatique.

Initiated on harmonica by his father, he moved to Chicago in 1939. Willie kept close to city's young bluesmen including Johnny Young that hiring him in his group. Influenced by Little Walter, he quickly became his valet, chauffeur, friend and sometimes replacing him onstage. According to the liner notes written by Dick Shurman, Willie tried to record for Chess and Cobra but without success. In 1975, he participated in a session for the label Mr Blues which unfortunately will never see the light of day. Meanwhile, he continued his sideman activities (he accompanied Johnny Young at the Ann Arbor Festival in 1970), he worked as a bricklayer. This album was his only opportunity to cut a full album. Superbly accompanied (Robert Lockwood Jr, Fred Below among others), Willie delivers an excellent Chicago Blues album playing diatonic Marine Band as well as chromatic harp.

BLUES FROM CHICAGO

Violet

September 1979