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Pradinis puslapis S Willie “Big Eyes” Smith - Chicago Blues
Willie “Big Eyes” Smith - Chicago Blues
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Willie “Big Eyes” Smith (born January 19, 1936 in Helena, Arkansas) is an American blues vocalist, and multi-award winning drummer. Starting in the early 1960s, he joined the Muddy Waters band for almost two decades.

Born in Helena, Arkansas, in 1936, Willie learned to play harmonica at age seventeen just after moving to Chicago, Illinois. Smith’s influences included listening to 78s and to KFFA King Biscuit radio shows, some of which were broadcast from Helena’s Miller Theater, where he saw guitar player Joe Willie Wilkins, and harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II. On a Chicago visit in 1953 his mother took him to hear Muddy Waters at the Zanzibar, where Henry Strong’s harp playing inspired him to learn that instrument. In 1956, at the age of eighteen he formed a trio. He led the band on harp, Bobby Lee Burns played guitar, and Clifton James, who was the drummer. As “Little Willie” Smith he played in the Rocket Four, led by blues guitarists Arthur “Big Boy” Spires. In 1955 Willie played harmonica on Bo Diddley’s classic recording of the Willie Dixon song “Diddy Wah Diddy” for the Checker label. Drummers were in more demand than harp players, so Willie switched to drums and starting playing with Muddy Waters band. In 1959, Willie recorded with Waters on the 1960 album Muddy Waters Sings Big Bill Broonzy a tribute to Big Bill Broonzy. 

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Willie Big Eyes Smith

 

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