Willie Hall (pianist)

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Willie Hall (died 1930),[1] best known by his colorful nickname Drive 'Em Down, was a New Orleans blues and boogie woogie piano player. He never recorded, but has had a great influence on blues and rock and roll.

According to Champion Jack Dupree, who called Drive 'Em Down his "father" and cited him as "teaching me his style", Hall played in barrelhouses. His earthy song, "Junker's Blues", with its stories about needles and reefer and the Angola prison farm was recorded by Dupree in 1940.[2] In 1949 Fats Domino reworked the song as "The Fat Man",[3] the first of his 35 Top 40 hits. The melody was used by Professor Longhair for "Tipitina" and by Lloyd Price for "Lawdy Miss Clawdy." Willy DeVille recorded the song in 1990 on his Victory Mixture album. The song also directly inspired the song "Junco Partner",[4] first recorded in 1951 by James Waynes and later also widely covered by other musicians.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lichtenstein, Grace and Dankner, Laura Musical gumbo: the music of New Orleans W.W. Norton, 1993, ISBN 0-393-03468-2, ISBN 978-0-393-03468-4, p.130 at Google Books
  2. ^ Broven, John Rhythm & blues in New Orleans Pelican Publishing Company, 1983 ISBN 0-88289-433-1, ISBN 978-0-88289-433-1 at Google Books
  3. ^ Coleman, Rick (April 23, 2007). Blue Monday: Fats Domino and the Lost Dawn of Rock 'n' Roll. Da Capo Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0306815317. 
  4. ^ Williamson, Nigel (April 30, 2007). The Rough Guide to Blues 1 (Rough Guide Reference). Rough Guides; 1 edition. p. 27. ISBN 978-1843535195.