Willie Blackwell

Biography by

b. c.1898, USA, d. date unknown. Blackwell spent much of his life in Memphis, where he still resided as late as the 70s. Among his early associates were Calvin Frazier (who was reputedly his nephew),…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

b. c.1898, USA, d. date unknown. Blackwell spent much of his life in Memphis, where he still resided as late as the 70s. Among his early associates were Calvin Frazier (who was reputedly his nephew), stepson Robert Lockwood Jnr. and Robert Johnson. Another musician with whom Blackwell worked in Detroit was Baby Boy Warren. Blackwell was not a particularly inventive musician, but his circle paid keen attention to his original lyrics, and the eight songs he recorded for Bluebird in 1941 (together with two cut for the Library of Congress the following year) are the work of one of the most inventive lyricists in blues. No other singer reflects that hitching a ride would be easier if he knew Masonic hailing signs, or sees World War II as a chance to send his baby son ‘a Jap’s tooth’ to help ease the process of teething! Blackwell was a truly eccentric and unique artist.