Here you can discuss other musicians and CD reissues etc

Little Willie John

Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:53 pm

Only discovered this singer a few days ago and can't stop listening to his music, what a voice.

He was an American R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s and a great influence on alot of artists, including Elvis.

He brought out the first and original version of 'Fever' in 1956 with verses completely different than the more popular version by Peggy Lee.

http://youtu.be/pg5OGdsVHLY

Here are just a few songs that i really like.

Im Shakin'
http://youtu.be/qWRjus3end4

All Around The World
http://youtu.be/YB40XdRP9XI

Lets Rock While The Rockin's Good
http://youtu.be/qPF5BqcNjwo

'She Thinks I Still Care'.
http://youtu.be/tDq6Ey9M9B4

Apparently, Elvis recorded his version of 'She Thinks I Still Care' cause of Little Willie John's Version and not of the more popular country version by George Jones.

Sad to think that Little Willie John died of a heart attack in 1968 aged just 30 while in prison.

Re: Little Willie John

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:56 am

He was kind of a wild man. I think he accidentally killed a man in a bar fight.

He was an absolutely terrific singer. His version of "Fever" is only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of his best stuff was ballads. He was maybe the influence on James Brown. I believe James even recorded a tribute LP to him.

Re: Little Willie John

Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:31 am

In 1966 he recorded an album that was never released until Ace Record UK put it out on CD in 2008.
It was supposed to be his comeback album but the tapes was shelved. Ace Records released 20 tracks from those recordings. A real treat to hear, so if you like his fifties material you will love this CD.

Blue Boy

Re: Little Willie John

Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:33 am

likethebike wrote:He was kind of a wild man. I think he accidentally killed a man in a bar fight.

He was an absolutely terrific singer. His version of "Fever" is only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of his best stuff was ballads. He was maybe the influence on James Brown. I believe James even recorded a tribute LP to him.


I have that album! On vinyl: got it in the seventies. I remember I was in a small shop in Atlanta - not a Peaches or anything, and the owner came over and said "you want this!" He held it in his arms, affectionately - never forget. It was James Brown's "Thinking About Little Willie John and A Few Nice Things." I then got his own recordings, especially "Fever" which sounds different than versions with which we're more familiar.

He was one of the "inventors," if you will, of "Soul." A very, very important musical figure.

He died in prison. He had been convicted, was out on appeal, did record while he was out, and ended up back in. He died in 1968, in the Wash. St. Penn, of what has been called a heart attack. Not everyone believes that.

He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I'm very grateful to that music store owner. I learned an awful lot about music on this account. (I believe there's an essay on him in the Greil Marcus-edited "Stranded: Rock and Roll for a Desert Island." I forget who wrote it.)

Soon as I can, I'll get a picture of my own album, that introduced me to him - the one by James Brown.

rjm

Re: Little Willie John

Thu Aug 08, 2013 7:20 pm

Little Willie John is an all-time great.

Here's another gem from him : "Need Your Love So Bad", his second King single, recorded in one take in September 1955. This is an out-of-this-world track, featuring incredible vocals from Little Willie John, and outstanding guitar by the great Mickey Baker.

A total masterpiece !!

phpBB [video]

Re: Little Willie John

Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:51 pm

likethebike wrote:He was kind of a wild man. I think he accidentally killed a man in a bar fight.

He was an absolutely terrific singer. His version of "Fever" is only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of his best stuff was ballads. He was maybe the influence on James Brown. I believe James even recorded a tribute LP to him.


rjm wrote:I have that album! On vinyl: got it in the seventies. I remember I was in a small shop in Atlanta - not a Peaches or anything, and the owner came over and said "you want this!" He held it in his arms, affectionately - never forget. It was James Brown's "Thinking About Little Willie John and A Few Nice Things."


I have lots of early James Brown stuff, but not this particular LP. It's been one of those "want-list" classics, for years.

Anyway, I looked for the sleeve. Here it is :
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Re: Little Willie John

Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:25 am

Gosh, I am truly sorry for not posting it all those months ago. It was ltb who brought it up, and I guess you always think there's more time.

I had forgotten about it.

:(

rjm

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Re: Little Willie John

Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:25 pm

rjm wrote:I had forgotten about it.


No apologies needed, rjm. This happens to me every day !

You guys and gals were the ones who brought Little Willie John's name up, nine months ago.

I've just added my contribution to this brief but beautiful thread.

It's also an excuse to pay a small tribute to ltb.

Thanks to Bodie, who started it all.

Re: Little Willie John

Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Mister Moon wrote:
rjm wrote:I had forgotten about it.


No apologies needed, rjm. This happens to me every day !

You guys and gals were the ones who brought Little Willie John's name up, nine months ago.

I've just added my contribution to this brief but beautiful thread.

It's also an excuse to pay a small tribute to ltb.

Thanks to Bodie, who started it all.


Oh, an apology is/was necessary; "likethebike," who mentioned the album, that I promised to post, died a few months ago. Thank you for thinking of it as a tribute to him. But I should have taken the time then. So, he never got to see my album, which I had forgotten to post. His name was Harley, it was cancer, and he was only 43. That is why I am so sorry for forgetting to take a photo, and post it then. Very few here knew he was ill.

So, I try harder not to forget such things now.

rjm


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Re: Little Willie John

Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:42 pm

While I was searching for Elvis stuff about his August 1956 appearances in St. Petersburg, I found this clipping.

The perfect excuse to revive this little thread on this great, great singer.

560808 22.JPG


Willis (not Willie) Jackson was a great musician who can be heard playing tenor sax on many of the classic records of the era. He was Ruth Brown's boyfriend, too.
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