Little Walter (song)

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"Little Walter"
Single by Tony! Toni! Toné!
from the album Who?
ReleasedMay 13, 1988
Recorded1986 (as demo)
1988 (as a song)
GenreNew jack swing[1]
Songwriter(s)Denzil Foster, Thomas McElroy, Timothy Riley, Raphael Saadiq, D'Wayne Wiggins
Producer(s)Foster & McElroy
Tony! Toni! Toné! singles chronology
"Little Walter"
"Born Not to Know"

"Little Walter" is the debut single by Tony! Toni! Toné!. It was the lead single from the R&B group's debut album Who.


The narrator in the song describes a roommate by the name of Walter who makes money from an undisclosed job, and rather than pay rent, he spends his money on a lavish lifestyle. The narrator has had enough of this, and decides to confront Walter about it only for both to break into an argument that lasts "half the night". When the argument was finished "there was a knock at the door and when Walter went to open it he was blown to the floor" meaning he may have been shot dead (according to the video for the song). Walter was portrayed by comedian Sinbad in the video, who was portraying Walter Oakes on "The Cosby Show" spinoff "A Different World".

The melody is taken from the instrumentation on the spiritual tune "Wade in the Water".[2][3][4][5]

Chart performance[edit]

"Little Walter" spent one week at number one on the U.S. Soul chart.[6] It also peaked at forty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100.

Chart (1988) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[7] 47
US "Billboard" Hot Dance Music-Club Play[8] 43
US Billboard Hot Black Singles 1


  1. ^ Washington, Jim (June 23, 2000). "Two smooth sounds, one Foxy show". The Fayetteville Observer. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  2. ^ "Tony! Toni! Toné! - Little Walter". Archived from the original on 2021-12-15. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  3. ^ "little walter song tony! toni! toné!". Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Little Walter (4:54)". Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Tony! Toni! Tone'! Greatest Hits". Archived from the original on 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 584.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 14th Edition: 1955-2012. Record Research. p. 851.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974-2003. Record Research. p. 261.

External links[edit]