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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Little Willie John born 15 November 1937


William Edward "Little Willie" John (November 15, 1937 – May 26, 1968) was an American rock 'n' roll and R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for his popular music chart successes with songs such as "All Around the World" (1955), "Need Your Love So Bad" (1956), and "Fever" (1956), the latter covered in 1958 by Peggy Lee. An important figure in early R&B music, John was a 1996 Inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He was born in Cullendale, Arkansas. He was one of ten children. His father, Mertis, was a logger in northern Louisiana and southern Arkansas; his mother, Lillie, played guitar and sang gospel songs, teaching them to her children. His sister Mable, also raised in Ouachita County, recorded as a Raelette for Ray Charles and solo for Stax Records.
His family moved to Detroit, Michigan when he was four, so that his father could pursue factory work. In the late 1940s, the eldest children, including Willie, formed a gospel singing group, and Willie also performed in talent shows, which brought him to the notice of Johnny Otis and, later, musician and producer Henry Glover. After seeing him sing with the Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams orchestra, Glover signed him to a recording contract with King Records in 1955. He was nicknamed "Little Willie" John for his short stature.
 
 

 
His first recording, a version of Titus Turner's "All Around the World", was a hit, reaching # 5 on the Billboard R&B chart. He followed up with a string of R&B hits, including the original version of "Need Your Love So Bad", written by his elder brother Mertis John Jr. One of his biggest hits, "Fever" (1956) (Pop #24 & R&B #1), was more famously covered by Peggy Lee in 1958. However, John's version alone sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
Another song, "Talk to Me, Talk to Me" recorded in 1958, reached #5 in the R&B chart and #20 in the Pop chart, and also sold over one million.A few years later it was a hit once again by Sunny & the Sunglows. He also recorded "I'm Shakin'" by Rudy Toombs, "Suffering With The Blues", and "Sleep" (1960) (Pop #13).
In all, John made the Billboard Hot 100 a total of fourteen times. A cover version of "Need Your Love So Bad" by Fleetwood Mac was also a hit in Europe. Another of his songs to be covered was "Leave My Kitten Alone", (1959). The Beatles recorded a version in 1964, intended for their Beatles for Sale album, but it went unreleased until 1995.

Willie John was known for his short temper and propensity to abuse alcohol, and was dropped by his record company in 1963. In 1966, he was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Washington State Penitentiary for a fatal knifing incident following a show in Seattle. He appealed his conviction and was released while the case was reconsidered, during which time he recorded what was intended to be his comeback album, but owing to contractual wrangling and the decline of his appeal, it was not released until 2008 (as Nineteen Sixty Six).
Convicted of manslaughter, he began serving his eight- to twenty-year sentence at Walla Walla State Penitentiary on July 6, 1966. He died nearly two years later, on May 26, 1968, in the maximum security facility. Rumours of prison beatings or other foul play have always surrounded his death.  Despite counterclaims (Rolling Stone reported that the death occurred after John had checked into the prison hospital with pneumonia), the official cause of death was listed in his death certificate as a heart attack.

James Brown recorded a tribute album to John that year, and his material has been recorded by scores of artists, yet Little Willie John remains a stranger to most listeners and has never received the respect his talent deserves.
Little Willie John was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
(Info edited from various sources mainly Wikipedia)



6 comments:

boppinbob said...

For “Fever - The Best of Little Willie John” go here:

http://www109.zippyshare.com/v/WdulJNAG/file.html

01-All Around The World.mp3
02-Need Your Love So Bad.mp3
03-Home At Last.mp3
04-Fever.mp3
05-My Nerves.mp3
06-Suffering With The Blues.mp3
07-Person To Person.mp3
08-Talk To Me, Talk To Me.mp3
09-Spasms.mp3
10-Let's Rock While The Rockin's Good.mp3
11-Leave My Kitten Alone.mp3
12-Let Them Talk.mp3
13-I'm Shakin'.mp3
14-Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me).mp3
15-Sleep.mp3
16-You Hurt Me.mp3
17-I Like To See My Baby (with Hank Ballard).mp3
18-Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You).mp3
19-Big Blue Diamonds.mp3
20-My Baby's In Love With Another Guy.mp3

A big thank you to the Free Easy Zipped blog for link.

boppinbob said...

Just found this Jasmine Gem

For “Little Willie John - Sleep - The Singles As & Bs, 1955 – 1961” go here:

CD1

http://www66.zippyshare.com/v/f8uRhgCh/file.html

1. ALL AROUND THE WORLD
2. DON'T LEAVE ME DEAR
3. NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD
4. HOME AT LAST
5. ARE YOU EVER COMING BACK
6. I'M STICKIN' WITH YOU BABY
7. FEVER
8. LETTER FROM MY DARLING
9. DO SOMETHING FOR ME
10. MY NERVES
11. I'VE BEEN AROUND
12. SUFFERING WITH THE BLUES
13. WILL THE SUN SHINE TOMORROW
14. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVING
15. LOVE, LIFE AND MONEY
16. YOU GOT TO GET UP EARLY IN THE MORNING
17. I'VE GOT TO GO CRY
18. LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ME
19. YOUNG GIRL
20. IF I THOUGHT YOU NEEDED ME
21. UH UH BABY
22. DINNER DATE
23. PERSON TO PERSON
24. UNTIL YOU DO
25. TALK TO ME, TALK TO ME
26. SPASMS
27. YOU'RE A SWEETHEART
28. LET'S ROCK WHILE THE ROCKIN'S GOOD
29. TELL IT LIKE IT IS
30. DON'T BE ASHAMED TO CALL MY NAME

For CD2 go here:

http://www91.zippyshare.com/v/TjdNuvic/file.html

1. ALL MY LOVE BELONGS TO YOU
2. WHY DON'T YOU HAUL OFF AND LOVE ME
3. NO REGRETS
4. I'LL CARRY YOUR LOVE WHEREVER I GO
5. MADE FOR ME
6. NO MORE IN LIFE
7. LEAVE MY KITTEN ALONE
8. LET NOBODY LOVE YOU
9. LET THEM TALK
10. RIGHT THERE
11. LOVING CARE
12. MY LOVE IS
13. A COTTAGE FOR SALE
14. I'M SHAKIN'
15. HEARTBREAK (It's Hurtin' Me)
16. DO YOU LOVE ME
17. SLEEP
18. THERE'S A DIFFERENCE
19. WALK SLOW
20. YOU HURT ME
21. I'LL NEVER GO BACK ON MY WORD
22. THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU
23. I'M SORRY
24. (I've Got) SPRING FEVER
25. FLAMINGO
26. TAKE MY LOVE (I Want To Give It All To You)
27. NOW YOU KNOW
28. DRIVE ME HOME
29. THERE IS SOMEONE IN THIS WORLD FOR ME
30. AUTUMN LEAVES


Just seventeen years of age when he registered his first hits, Little Willie John is one of the most important 'missing links' between '50s R&B and '60s soul.

One of the most influential R&B singers of his era, he remains chiefly remembered for the original hit versions of songs like 'All Around The World' (aka 'Grits Ain't Groceries), 'Need Your Love So Bad', 'Talk To Me, Talk To Me' and 'Fever'.
This special compilation anthologies all his singles from 1955 to 1961, including rare B-sides, many of which are previously-unreleased on CD.

Some earlier reissues of this early material have been notorious for their poor sound quality - every track on this set has been lovingly re-mastered to greatly improve on the sound quality.

boppinbob said...

I have also found a CD of his later King sessions from 1961 - 1963. Will post if requested.

Pudge said...

Thanks Bob. Little Willie was great.

Roffe said...

Thanks for Little Willie John. Just great tracks.

a said...

pic in the King studio 1540 brewster ave. cincinnati Ohio with Phillip Paul on drums and Ed Conley on bass