Boogie Bill Webb
|Boogie Bill Webb|
March 24, 1924|
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
|Died||August 22, 1990
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
|Genres||Louisiana blues, R&B, country blues, electric blues|
|Occupations||Guitarist, singer, songwriter|
|Labels||Imperial, Flying Fish|
Boogie Bill Webb (March 24, 1924 – August 22, 1990) was an American Louisiana blues and R&B guitarist, singer and songwriter. Webb's own style of music combined Mississippi country blues with New Orleans R&B. His best known recordings were "Bad Dog" and "Drinkin' and Stinkin'". Despite a lengthy, albeit stuttering, career, Webb nevertheless only released one album.
Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Webb's first guitar at the age of eight was stringed with screen wire and made from a cigar box. His greatest influence was Tommy Johnson. With a real guitar obtained whist a teenager, in 1947 Webb won a talent show, and subsequently briefly appeared in the musical film, The Jackson Jive, before settling in New Orleans in 1952.
Webb obtained a recording contract with Imperial Records, after his friendship with Fats Domino led to his introduction to Dave Bartholomew. In 1953 Webb released his debut single, "Bad Dog," a non commercial slice of country boogie-woogie. Frustrated by lack of recognition, Webb relocated to Chicago, where he worked in various factories. In Chicago, Webb met and sat in with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, and Chuck Berry.
Webb returned to New Orleans in 1959 to work as a stevedore, performing music infrequently. However, in 1968 he recorded several songs for the folklorist David Evans, which eventually appeared on the Arhoolie Records album Roosevelt Holts and His Friends. The 1972 compilation album, The Legacy of Tommy Johnson contained five tracks performed by Webb.
A combination of the exposure at home and in Europe led to visits to Webb from blues fans, and invitations to tour. In 1982 Webb appeared at the Dutch Utrecht Festival. Finally in 1989, with financial assistance from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Webb released Drinkin' and Stinkin'. His experience of encountering three drunken women, who had been out drinking for three days without bathing, inspired the lyrics for the title track of the album.
Boogie Bill Webb died in New Orleans in August 1990, at the age of 66.
- The Blues of Snooks Eaglin & Boogie Bill Webb (2004)
- The Blues of Robert Lockwood Jr. & Boogie Bill Webb (2004) - Storyville Records
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