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Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

The longtime drummer with the Muddy Waters Band, bluesman Willie "Big Eyes" Smith was born in Helena, AK, on January 19, 1936; raised by his sharecropper grandparents, as a child his neighbors included the likes of Robert Nighthawk and Pinetop Perkins. At 17 he traveled to Chicago to visit his mother, and never returned home; instead Smith taught himself harmonica and drums, and with harpist Clifton James and guitarist Bobby Lee Burns formed a blues trio. Upon marrying his first wife in 1955, Smith agreed to retire from performing, but within a year he was backing Arthur "Big Boy" Spires; after a brief attempt at fronting his own band, he returned to his drum kit, joining Hudson Shower's Red Devil Trio. After a few lean years that forced him to go on welfare, Smith joined Waters in 1961 and remained with the blues giant until 1980, when he co-founded the Legendary Blues Band. His first solo recording, Bag Full of Blues, did not appear until 1995; Nothin' But the Blues Y'all followed four years later and Blues from the Heart was issued in fall 2000. Bluesin' It appeared in 2004 from Electro-Fi while the pleasant Way Back was released in 2006 by Hightone Records. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

williamcaubl e
Really, he was born in Alaska?? AK is Alaska dude. AR is Arkansas. After 4 years of us pointing this out, it is still wrong. Hire some QA people PANDORA
Dam that is the best of blues.
oh yeah this guys good
Saw him with Muddy Waters; he helped drive that band in the 70s. Lost track of him after Legendary Blues Band; didn't know he had solo work. Smooth as ever!
Just good ole fashion blues
Good stuff! Didn't know there were any sharecropper s in Alaska. I wonder if he could see Russia from his front porch?
MIkey's Hits just found another brother of REAL BLUES!!!!!!!
tojeffthacke r
Still alive?
justintealmo r g a n
As an Americana/Bl u e s singer songwriter from Clarendon, Arkansas(50 miles or so from Helena)...se e i n g this is cool. www.reverbna t i o n . c o m / j u s t i n t e a l m o r g a n
justintealmo r g a n
love it
20 YEARS WITH MUDDY WATERS!!
wmmcclintock
Yeah Baby, Raised in Helena, AR
dbrooks14
sounds like off limits bar in louville
hdarnell1954
may he rest in peace
GREATEST BLUES DRUMMER PLAYING, GREATEST HARMONICA BLUES HARP PLAYING(ALON G WITH OTHER "GREATESTS" LIKE JAMES COTTON, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, AND BOB CORRITORE)
bburnet
Yes, thank you for noticing that. I didn't think many blues artists came from Alaska.
landarch

Hey bio writer, Arkansas is abbreviated AR not AK (Alaska).
even though Willie fronts his band with incredible vocals and harmonica, he is THE GREATEST BLUES DRUMMER ALIVE AND ONE OF THE ABSOLUTE ORIGINAL BLUES ARTISTS IN HISTORY!!! WHAT A LIVING LEGEND AND AMERICAN TREASURE...t o catch him live is to live an HISTORICAL EVENT!!!
yes.
YES, YES, HOW CAN YOU KEEP A "GOOD BLUES MAN DOWN???" GOOD LUCK TO YOU MR W "BIG EYES" SMITH. MR. CLARK
Nice
GOOD " HARP " BLUES MAN . I ENJOY WHAT "BIG EYES" HAS TO :SING" ABOUT.
He was born in Helena Arkansa (AR), not Alaska (AK).
At 74 - he can still blow some harp...saw him w pinetop in San Antonio, Tx...Great Show !
duck29
AK = Alaska and AZ = Arizona, sharecropper s would more likely be found in AR = Arkansas. Pinetop Perkins still plays the Helena (not Montana) Blues Festival.
magruver
AWESOME BLUES,,,,,,, , , , , , ALL RIGHT,,
dextercollin s 5 3 8 6
awesome. total blues

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