A Tribute to Willie “Big Eyes” Smith | Community Idea Stations


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A Tribute to Willie “Big Eyes” Smith

Join us this week on Time for the Blues (12/4/11) as we pay tribute to the late great Willie "Big Eyes" Smith! Willie won his Grammy last year with Pinetop Perkins for "Joined at the Hip"! Also, as I promised, the reavealing of my holiday wish list--actually there's only one thing--click here!

John and I hate these tribute shows--it means we've lost another fantastic blues legend.  However, in this case, fortune smiled on Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and his long-time band-mate Pinetop Perkins just in time as they won the Grammy in February for Best Traditional Blues Album (Joined at the Hip)! Unfortunately, Pinetop passed away a mere month or so later and Willie passed away in September--but what a pair they were!

I first saw Pinetop and Willie together in 1983 in Chapel Hill, NC as they were touring in the Legendary Blues Band. Not only was the show incredible, but all the guys freely chatted with us after the show--what a night--I will never forget! Of course, the LBB was basically Muddy Waters' backing band from Muddy's late 70's resurgence, but as it turned out they put up quite a legend of their own. In later years Willie moved from the drums to harp, vocals and even songwriting as you'll hear on songs from "Joined at the Hip." We'll also hear a track from Willie's own "Bag Full of Blues" CD (audio sample below) and a nice track from the Legendary Blues Band days!

Oh, but we have so much more in this show for you! We'll sample tracks from Buddy Guy's Grammy-winning 1991 "comeback" release "Damn Right I've Got the Blues!" Personally, I didn't know he ever went away, but this CD is a must for all blues fans! Guests on this included Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and the Memphis Horns! There's even a guitarist named John Porter on this! John, I didn't know you had it in you!

But wait....there's more! Great new tracks from Davis Coen ("Jukebox Calssic") and Eric Lindell ("West County Drifter")!  These guys are proof that the blues are alive and quite well, thank you! And if all that isn't enough, another episode to the Goldwax Story--that lillte known 60s Memphis soul and R&B powerhouse that we are discovering for the first time! This week we'll sample George & Greer, Percy Milem and The Ovations--they alll would have been huge stars had they recorded for Atlantic or even Stax, but we have them for you here!

Now, what did you think about my holiday wish (click here)? See what you miss when you don't hear the show? So we humbly implore you--grab a nap, stay up late and enjoy these great blues with us! Time for the Blues with John Porter and Henry Cook airs Sundays at 1 AM.

Share your "I got to chat with one of my favorite musician" story with us! While you're at it, kick back to us what songs/artists you'd like to hear on upcoming shows!