Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST song of the day
Song:I Feel So Bad
Album:Blues Masters Vol. 1:Urban Blues
To the casual listener, Chuck Willis is a long forgotten R & B singer who was known for wearing a turban on stage. But he was very popular in the 50s before his premature death and many of his songs are standards of pop music. He was born Jan. 31, 1928 in Atlanta. He was singing with various bands in Atlanta when DJ Zenas "Daddy" Sears took an interest in him and got him a contract with Columbia's Okeh label. He had several R & B chart hits including I Feel So Bad in 1954. Elvis Presley later covered the song. He also wrote Oh What A Dream for Ruth Brown. He moved to Atlantic in 1956 and crossed over to the pop charts with his version of the traditional song C.C. Rider in 1957 featuring Gene "Daddy G" Barge's great sax solo. It was #1 on the R & B charts. Willis had been suffering from ulcers but his sudden death from peritonitis on Apr. 10, 1958 at age 30 sent shock waves through the R & B community. Urban Blues is one of a series of various artists comps from Rhino and also includes T-Bone Walker & Otis Rush. His Okeh recordings are on a 2CD comp called Chuck Willis Wails on Sundazed Records. Sorry, no video footage. There's no doubt that Chuck Willis' would have remained a star if he had lived but his songs live on forever.