Blues Boy Willie

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Blues Boy Willie
Birth name William Daniel McFalls
Born (1946-11-28) November 28, 1946 (age 68)
Memphis, Texas, United States
Genres Electric blues, soul blues
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
Instruments Vocals, harmonica
Years active 1970s–present
Labels Ichiban, Deep South

William Daniel McFalls, better known as Blues Boy Willie (born November 28, 1946), is an African-American electric blues singer and harmonica player from Memphis, Texas. McFalls is attempting to revive the popularity which the blues enjoyed in his native Memphis during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.[1]

McFalls is known for his unique urban sound and his keen sense of humor as he attempts to make blues, sometimes defined as the "secular folk music of American blacks"[2] pertinent to modern society. Reared in a musical family, his father was in Ma Rainey's touring minstrel show. Among McFalls' recordings are "Leroy" and "Where Is Leroy?".[3]

Life and career[edit]

McFalls graduated from Memphis High School, and then studied music at nearby two-year Clarendon College, then Clarendon Junior College in Clarendon, the seat of Donley County, where he learned to play the upright bass and toured the college circuit as a guitarist. Later he moved to Los Angeles, where he spent a decade promoting his music and touring the California coast with a blues trio.[4]

In 1988, McFalls joined Ichiban Records at the invitation of a boyhood friend, the producer Gary B.B. Coleman. In 1990, his album, Be-Who?, remained on the Billboard chart for twenty-one weeks. His albums have been recorded with a small studio band. In novelty numbers, McFalls engages in bantering, including one comical exchange about the legitimacy of his children with his then wife, "Miss Lee".[5]

Through Coleman, McFalls met Johnny Rawls, and the pair started the "Blues Review" touring company which performed in the American South. Rufus Thomas, Tyrone Davis, and Johnnie Taylor joined the group. Rawls then asked McFalls to be an artist on his new label, Deep South Sound.[4]

Steve Leggett of Allmusic stated that McFalls "makes things work by the sheer force of his engaging personality."[6]

Early in 2008, McFalls was featured on a segment of Bob Phillips' syndicated television anthology series Texas Country Reporter. In the interview, McFalls explained to Phillips how important the legacy of Memphis, Texas, had been to his singing career and his peace of mind as a person.[7]

Discography[edit]

Year Title Record label
1989 Strange Things Happening Ichiban
1990 Be Who? Ichiban
1992 I Got the Blues Ichiban
1993 Don't Look Down Ichiban
1995 Juke Joint Blues Ichiban
2002 Back Again Deep South

[8]

References[edit]