b. 26 March 1946, San Francisco, California, USA. His real name was reportedly Willie Boyd or Willie Gitry. He was brought up in Richmond, California, and sang in vocal groups as a youngster; he also learned to play guitar in the early 60s, going on to play with Big Mama Thornton, Jimmy McCracklin, and others (he also recorded with McCracklin). Following a spell in Los Angeles (1969-1971), he formed his own band around 1972. In 1973 he joined Charlie Musselwhite’s band, and the following year he toured and recorded with John Mayall. Harris was also involved in film work: he wrote the theme song for Mandingo (sung by Muddy Waters) and sang on the soundtrack of Leadbelly. Harris was ‘an excellent guitarist in both the slide and regular fingerstyles’ (Blues Unlimited).
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