Boogie Bill Webb

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Boogie Bill Webb
Born(1924-03-24)March 24, 1924
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
DiedAugust 22, 1990(1990-08-22) (aged 66)
New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
GenresLouisiana blues, R&B, country blues, electric blues[1]
Occupation(s)Guitarist, singer, songwriter
Instrument(s)Guitar, vocals
Years active1947–1990
LabelsImperial, Flying Fish

Boogie Bill Webb (March 24, 1924 – August 22, 1990)[2] was an American Louisiana blues and rhythm-and-blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. His music combined Mississippi country blues with New Orleans R&B.[1] His best-known recordings are "Bad Dog" and "Drinkin' and Stinkin'".[2] Despite a lengthy (albeit intermittent) career, Webb released only one album.[1]


Webb was born in Jackson, Mississippi. His got his first guitar at the age of eight, made from a cigar box and strung with screen wire.[1] His greatest influence was Tommy Johnson.[3] With a real guitar obtained when he was a teenager, he won a talent show in 1947. He subsequently appeared briefly in the musical film The Jackson Jive. He moved to New Orleans in 1952.[1]

In New Orleans Webb became friends with Fats Domino and was thus introduced to Dave Bartholomew and obtained a recording contract with Imperial Records, for which Domino and Bartholomew recorded.[3] In 1953 Webb released his debut single, "Bad Dog," a noncommercial slice of country boogie-woogie. Frustrated by lack of recognition, Webb relocated to Chicago, where he worked in factories.[1] There he met and played with Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, and Chuck Berry.[4]

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.[3] The 1972 compilation album The Legacy of Tommy Johnson contains five tracks recorded by Webb.[5]

Exposure at home and in Europe led to visits to Webb from blues fans and invitations to tour. In 1982 he appeared at the Utrecht Festival, in the Netherlands.[1] In 1989, with financial assistance from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, he released the album Drinkin' and Stinkin'.[1] An encounter with three women who had been out drinking for three days without bathing inspired the lyrics of the title track.[6]

Webb died in New Orleans in August 1990, at the age of 66.[2]



Compilation albums[edit]

  • Rural Blues, vol. 2, Saturday Night Function, various artists (1968, Imperial Records)
  • Rural Blues, vol. 3, Down Home Stomp, various artists (1968, Imperial Records)
  • The Blues of Snooks Eaglin & Boogie Bill Webb (2004)
  • The Blues of Robert Lockwood Jr. & Boogie Bill Webb (2004, Storyville Records)



  • The Jackson Jive (1947)


  • Blues of Boogie Bill Webb (2002, Storyville)[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ankeny, Jason. "Boogie Bill Webb". Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1990–1991". Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  3. ^ a b c "Big Road Blues". Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  4. ^ Evans, David (2002). Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 117. ISBN 0-520-03484-8.
  5. ^ "Babe Stovall Discography". Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  6. ^ Evans, David (2002). Big Road Blues: Tradition and Creativity in the Folk Blues. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-520-03484-8.
  7. ^ "Bill "Boogie Bill" Webb: Discography, Albums". Retrieved 2015-10-02.
  8. ^ "Bill "Boogie Bill" Webb: Discography, DVDs and videos". Retrieved 2015-10-02.