His Best (Little Walter album)

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His Best
Blues musician Little Walter playing a chromatic harmonica.
Greatest hits album by Little Walter
Released June 17, 1997 (1997-06-17)[1]
Recorded May 12, 1952 – December 1960 in Chicago, Illinois[2]
Genre Chicago blues
Label Chess/MCA
Producer Leonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon, Andy McKaie[2]
Compiler Andy McKaie, Billy Altman[2]
Little Walter chronology
Confessin' the Blues
(November 1996)
His Best
(June 1997)
Little Walter & Otis Rush
(2000)

His Best is a greatest hits album by Chicago blues harmonica player Little Walter, released on June 17, 1997 by MCA and Chess Records as a part of The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection (see 1997 in music). The album is seen as the CD successor to the 1958 The Best of Little Walter and features ten of the songs from that album.[1]

Notable inclusions[edit]

Juke[edit]

"Juke" was Little Walters first solo recording for Leonard Chess[3] and reached #1 on the R&B Singles chart. A harmonica instrumental, it is Walter's most famous composition.

Mean Old World[edit]

Adapted from a 1942 T-Bone Walker song, "Mean Old World" became a #6 R&B chart success for Walter.[4]

Blues with a Feeling[edit]

Walter's rendition reached #2 on the R&B Single chart[4] and made the song a harmonica-blues standard. "Blues with a Feeling" was originally recorded by Rabon Tarrant with Jack McVea and His All Stars in 1947.

My Babe[edit]

Written by Willie Dixon, "My Babe" was Walter's second #1 on the R&B Charts.[4] It is perhaps Walter's best-known vocal performance.

Roller Coaster[edit]

The song "Roller Coaster" is an instrumental version of the 1955 Bo Diddley song "You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care)".[5] The song reached #6 on the R&B charts.[4]

It Ain't Right[edit]

Although "It Ain't Right" did not chart, it was later adapted by other musicians, including John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, who recorded it as the closing track to their debut album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (Clapton has identified Little Walter as his favorite harmonica player).[6]

Key to the Highway[edit]

Walter's rendition of "Key to the Highway" reached #6 and was his second to last charting single.[4] His rendition became a blues standard, performed and recorded by a variety of artists. It was originally recorded by Charlie Segar in 1940.

Just Your Fool[edit]

One of Walter's later recordings, it was released in 1962. Buddy Johnson originally recorded the song as "I'm Just Your Fool" in 1953; in 2010, "Just Your Fool" became a popular single by Cyndi Lauper.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Walter Jacobs, except where noted. 

No. Title Vocal or Instrumental Length
1. "Juke"   Instrumental 2:47
2. "Can't Hold Out Much Longer"   Vocal 3:03
3. "Mean Old World (T-Bone Walker)"   Vocal 2:57
4. "Sad Hours"   Instrumental 3:15
5. "Tell Me Mama"   Vocal 2:47
6. "Off the Wall"   Instrumental 2:52
7. "Blues with a Feeling"   Vocal 3:10
8. "You're So Fine"   Vocal 3:07
9. "Too Late" (Willie Dixon) Vocal 2:44
10. "Last Night"   Vocal 2:46
11. "Mellow Down Easy" (Dixon) Vocal 2:45
12. "My Babe" (Dixon) Vocal 2:44
13. "Roller Coaster" (Ellas McDaniel) Instrumental 2:56
14. "Hate to See You Go"   Vocal 2:20
15. "It Ain't Right"   Vocal 2:56
16. "Boom, Boom Out Goes the Light" (Stan Lewis) Vocal 2:54
17. "Confessin' the Blues"   Vocal 3:06
18. "Key to the Highway" (Big Bill Broonzy) Vocal 2:48
19. "Everything Gonna Be Alright"   Vocal 2:52
20. "Just Your Fool"   Vocal 2:23

Personnel[edit]

According to liner notes:[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Koda, Cub. "Overview: His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) by Little Walter". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved December 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d His Best (CD liner). Little Walter. Chess/MCA. pp. 12–15. CHD-9384. 
  3. ^ "Little Walter 'Fun Facts'". Littlewalter.net. Archived from the original on March 31, 2007. Retrieved January 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942–1988. Record Research, Inc. p. various. ISBN 0-89820-068-7. 
  5. ^ Glover, Tony; Dirks, Scott; Gaines, Ward (2002). Blues with a Feeling: The Little Walter Story. Routledge. pp. 147–148. ISBN 978-0-415-93711-5. 
  6. ^ Clapton, Eric (2007). Clapton — The Autobiography. Broadway Books. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7679-2536-5.