Monday, May 28, 2018

Willie Walker: The Early Years - 60s and 70s

I recently noticed that, for some reason, there has not yet been a (Wee) Willie Walker post at this blog.  That is a bit strange, given that he falls smack center into what Chitlins' is all about.   Willie Walker is one of the great 60s-70s voices who somehow only had a couple precious 45s released back in the day .  Fortunately, Willie Walker is still very much alive, active, and in good voice.  He has recorded some very good albums with the Butanes in recent years.  He has the rare ability to evoke strongly both Sam Cooke and O.V. Wright, while still sounding very much like himself.

Willie Walker grew up in Mississippi, and moved in Memphis in 1960.  He began his career in gospel with the Redemption Harmonizers.  He then crossed over into R&B, signing with Goldwax in 60s.  Despite his superb vocal talents, his musical career never really took off until the 1980s.  Since this time, Willie Walker has consistently received very high critical acclaim.  

Willie Walker was arguably at his vocal peak, however, in the 60s and 70s.  While there are only a few Willie Walker 45s from the 60s and 70s, the recent flood of rare soul compilations have dug up additional dynamite tracks from Walker associated with classic labels like Goldwax, Chess, Pawn, Hi, XL and Sounds of Memphis.   It would be great to see a discography of where and under what circumstances this music was recorded.   It would appear that the majority of the sides associated with Chess were actually acquired from Goldwax.  The Hi and Pawn sides also have overlap.   
I have put together here a 16 track compilation of all the early Willie Walker tracks that I have from various compilations.  The first 10 tracks would appear to come from the 60s (Goldwax and Chess), while the last 6 tracks are from the 70s (Pawn, Hi, XL, Sounds of Memphis).  I have no idea how complete this is.  Any additional contributions of either information or music would be highly welcome. 
new link


Preslives said...

pmac said...

Many thanks, Pres!

Lou Cypher said...

Thank you so very much, Preslives! I'm so looking forward to listen to this!

Moe said...

Thanks Pres. I have some of the Butane stuff and really like it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Great idea to put this together. I believe at least a couple more tracks exist:
Love makes the world go round, Hi 78513 (1978, The flip of Reaching for the real thing)
Lifetime of a man (Chess, unissued at the time and perhaps still unissued)

He has also been rumored to be the lead singer on T99's Sweetness ain't sweet no more (Hi 2213).


Preslives said...

Thanks for that information, Leif!

D K said...

Please can you be so kind and re-up?


D K said...

Thank you so much for the re-up.

Peace and love to you.

David said...

Damn, file expired again. Any chance of a re up of the re up?
thank you

selene45 said...

Yes please would love to listen to it. Many thanks guys for all the great work you are putting into this. Let's keep the flame burning!

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