Barkin' Bill Smith

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Barkin' Bill Smith
Background information
Born(1928-08-18)August 18, 1928
Cleveland, Mississippi, United States
DiedApril 24, 2000(2000-04-24) (aged 71)
Chicago, Illinois, United States
GenresChicago blues, electric blues[1]
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1950s–2000

Barkin' Bill Smith (August 18, 1928 – April 24, 2000)[2][3] was an American Chicago blues and electric blues singer and songwriter.[1] He was born in Cleveland, Mississippi,[2] and in his latter years lived in Chicago.[1]


Smith was raised in Mississippi and later relocated to East St. Louis, Detroit and finally Chicago. He obtained his stage name from Homesick James in 1958, after the pair had worked together. Smith sang in front of various blues bands around Chicago for many years. He was initially influenced by Joe Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon and Brook Benton.[1] He made his recording debut in 1991, singing on Dave Specter's first album, Bluebird Blues.[4] Delmark Records issued Smith's solo debut album, Gotcha!, in 1994,[1] with Steve Freund playing guitar.[5]

In his latter years declining health restricted his live appearances.[6]

Smith died of pancreatic cancer in Chicago in April 2000, at the age of 71.[3]

Solo album discography[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Dahl, Bill. "Barkin' Bill: Biography". Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  2. ^ a b "West Virginia Blues Society: Mountain Blues" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-24.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2000". Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  4. ^ Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books. p. 168. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  5. ^ Dahl, Bill. "Barkin' Bill, Gotcha!: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". Retrieved 2014-01-25.
  6. ^ "Barkin' Bill Smith". Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "Barkin' Bill: Discography". Retrieved 2014-01-25.