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who is (was?) Little Willie John?

open mike 11 Jan 04 - 12:56 AM
Metchosin 11 Jan 04 - 01:04 AM
Metchosin 11 Jan 04 - 01:11 AM
Metchosin 11 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM
open mike 11 Jan 04 - 02:46 AM
Metchosin 11 Jan 04 - 03:04 AM
GUEST,TheOldMole 11 Jan 04 - 02:17 PM
Metchosin 11 Jan 04 - 04:25 PM
Uncle_DaveO 11 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM
PoppaGator 11 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM
Roger the Skiffler 12 Jan 04 - 04:31 AM
PoppaGator 12 Jan 04 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,PJ Curtis 12 Jan 04 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,guest Doss 12 Jan 04 - 10:28 PM
PoppaGator 13 Jan 04 - 12:05 PM
Larry The Radio Guy 16 May 10 - 01:17 AM
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Subject: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: open mike
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 12:56 AM

According to the Tom Russell song "Blue Wing"
he was in a cell in Walla Walla, Washington,
and was cell mate to a fellow with a blue tatoo.
The song says he "used to be a great blues singer"
is this character fictional or based on an actual human?


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 01:04 AM

if its the same Little Willie John, he was very real and had at least one hit song with "Night". Good stuff.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 01:11 AM

yup, same Little Willie John.

more here


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 01:30 AM

although I can't seem to find "Night, Here Comes the Night" listed with any of his stuff, so maybe I was thinking of Ben E. King. Or maybe I was thinking of the song "Sleep".


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: open mike
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 02:46 AM

Yes of course! That is him, and the Walla Walla link fits in too.
I figured Tom Russell researched it, because his songs are often
historically accurate.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 03:04 AM

please don't use the word "historically" open mike, you make me feel so very, very old.*BG*


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: GUEST,TheOldMole
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 02:17 PM

Little Willie John's biggest hit was his own song, "Fever." I also love his "Talk to Me, Talk to Me." He was a great R&B singer of the 50s, and yes, he did die in prison.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Metchosin
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 04:25 PM

Because my original link doesn't seem to be working, the following also site gives some information on the short, fast lives of some more noteable R&B artists.


Curse of the Soul Man


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 04:30 PM

GUEST The Old Mole:

Is the "Fever" refer to the GREAT song that Peggy Lee did, called "Fever"? You know, "Fever when you ho-old me tight!" If so, I'm impressed!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Jan 04 - 04:38 PM

Metchosin's link provides a mini-biography with the following quote:

"Signed in 1955 to King Records, Little Willie John delivered immediate sales with his original of the to-be cabaret standard 'Fever'."

Which seems to indicate that, yes Uncle DaveO, we are talking about the same "Fever." (Doubly impressive that it was Willie's *first* King recording!)

I hear so many references to this guy that I had assumed he was not. He does represent an early R&B "sound" that is/was very much at home in NO, and he must have performed here often, probably at the late lamented Dew Drop Inn.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 04:31 AM

About a dozen of his CDs listed on UK Amazon. I only have "Fever, the best of..." on the Rhino label.

RtS


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) LIttle Willie John?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 10:42 AM

About half a sentence (the middle half) somehow disappeared from my post of yesterday afternoon.

I was trying to say that I had heard so much mention of LWJ in the reminiscences of local New Orleans R&B guys that I thought that he himself was a New Orleans character. He must have spent some time here, at the very least popping in and out while touring, and was definitely a huge influence on the R&B scene in the 1950's heyday of the local recording industrytudio.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) Little Willie John?
From: GUEST,PJ Curtis
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 01:19 PM

What a voice...what a talent .
Another L.W J classic was "Leave My Kitten Alone" (covered in '63 by The Beatles (Anthology). His sister was Mable John , one time Raelet and 60's soul diva.
PJ Curtis


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) Little Willie John?
From: GUEST,guest Doss
Date: 12 Jan 04 - 10:28 PM

DaveO, that wasn't Peggy Lee who covered Little Willie John's 'Fever.'
It was Julie London. She had a huge hit from it, her best known song, I think. If Peggy did a cover of it, I'm sure it was way after Julie's.


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) Little Willie John?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Jan 04 - 12:05 PM

"Fever" is such a great song that there are many "definitive" versions. Peggy Lee's unique and personal interpretation is very well known, perhaps the best known (at least on this side of the ocean), whether or not hers was the first cover.

Keely Smith and Louis Prima made it their own also, and Cyril Neville and his brothers really tear it, too -- perhaps closer to the spirit of the Little Wille John original than the work of those various [white] women!


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Subject: RE: who is (was?) Little Willie John?
From: Larry The Radio Guy
Date: 16 May 10 - 01:17 AM

I have about 20 Julie London LP's, and I've never heard her do fever. Peggy Lee's version was the ultimate "cover"--as a cover was originally defined as a white person recording a song put out by a black artist, as until the early 60's, black music was NOT played on mainstream radio.


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