Saturday, June 12, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Little Willie John
Song:Need Your Love So Bad
Album:The Very Best Of Little Willie John
Little Willie John is best remembered today as the man who originally recorded Peggy Lee's smash hit fever. But he was a tremendous singer and had several more R & B hits in the 50s. Sadly a volatile temper and a drinking problem led to an early death. He was born William Edward John Nov. 15, 1937 in Cullendale, AR. and grew up in Detroit. He was nicknamed Little Willie John because he was only 5'4". His sister Mable John recorded for Motown and Stax and his son Keith John was a backup singer for Stevie Wonder. He started out in the family gospel group until he was discovered by Johnny Otis. A stint singing with sax player Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams brought John to the attention of King Records producer Henry Glover and he signed in 1955. His first single All Around The World reached #5 on the R & B singles chart and Need Your Love So Bad did the same thing. The song was written by John's older brother Metris John Jr. Fever topped the R & B charts and would turn out to be John's biggest hit. Of course it has been overshadowed by Peggy Lee's much bigger hit version of Fever. He had several more R & B hits but was dropped by King in 1963. This comp from Collectables is a good intro to his music. John's short temper and drinking problems led to a fatal stabbing at a show in Seattle in 1964. He was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Washington State Peniteniary. After his appeal was denied, Little Willie John contracted pneumonia and died on May 26, 1968 at age 30. Another great talent who left us way too soon. Little Willie John was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996. Here's a video for Need Your Love So Bad by Little Willie John.