Little Willy Foster

b. 5 April 1922, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. Foster came to Chicago in 1941, already playing guitar, piano and harmonica. Tutored on the latter instrument by Walter Horton, he played on Maxwell Street,…
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Artist Biography

b. 5 April 1922, Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. Foster came to Chicago in 1941, already playing guitar, piano and harmonica. Tutored on the latter instrument by Walter Horton, he played on Maxwell Street, and in a band with Homesick James, Floyd Jones and Moody Jones. Foster recorded two singles in the mid-50s, and ‘Crying The Blues’, one of the titles, reflected both his emotional singing and his wailing, swooping harmonica. Shortly thereafter, he was shot and semi-paralyzed; he improved slowly, and remained able to play and sing, but only rarely in public. Floyd Jones stated that Foster fatally shot a man, and was placed in a mental hospital early in 1974, but as he was photographed in Chicago in September of that year, this information is somewhat dubious. His debut album was issued in 1996 and was produced by Bobby Mack, who played the guitar parts. Foster represents another example of an artist who should not have had to wait until his twilight years to be ‘discovered’.