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Willie Nix

Willie Nix came out of the rural South with a great beat and a way with lyrics that made him something of a topical urban poet. Despite recordings for RPM and Sun, and then Chance in Chicago, he never advanced beyond the ranks of the also-rans in the quest for blues success, in either Memphis or Chicago; however, if anyone ever deserved to do better based on the evidence that's left behind, it was Willie Nix.

Born in Memphis, he first entered performing as a tap dancer at age 12, and as a teenager during the late '30s, he toured with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels Shows as a dancing comedian. He appeared in various variety venues during the early '40s, and performed on streets and parks around Memphis. In 1947, Nix appeared with Robert Lockwood, Jr. on a Little Rock, AR radio station, and subsequently worked with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Willie Love and Joe Willie Wilkins as the Four Aces in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi.

Nix joined B.B. King and Joe Hill Louis for appearances on Memphis radio, and worked with The Beale Streeters during the late '40s. He made his first records in Memphis for RPM in 1951, and cut sides for Chess Records' Checker offshoot in 1952. Sam Philips signed him up as "the Memphis Blues Boy" for Sun in early 1953, as a singing drummer with a band, and he later cut sides for Art Sheridan's Chance label in Chicago. He worked with Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson, Johnny Shines, and Memphis Slim during the mid '50s, but at the end of the decade was back in Memphis, and did a short stretch in prison late in the decade. Nix's health and abilities deteriorated during the '60s and '70s, and he hoboed around, performing occasionally, telling tall tales about his life and generally acting erratically.

Nix never saw any success as a recording artist, and never stayed with one label long enough to record anything resembling an album's worth of material. His work appears on various label compilations, however, and is distinctive for his driving beat and his extraordinary cleverness with lyrics, especially the Chance sides. ~ Bruce Eder
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Memphis Blues - Important Postwar Blues

Disc 1

4. Little Soldier Boy

5. Country Clown

6. County Farm Blues

7. They Call Me Talkin' Boy

8. Easy

9. Before Long

10. Lonesome Ol' Jail

11. Greyhound Blues

12. Registration Day Blues

13. Rats In My Kitchen

14. Rattlesnake Mama

15. Forty Four Blues

18. Shorty The Barber

19. The Last Time

20. Train Is Comin'

21. Pinetop's Boogie Woogie

23. Wolf Call Boogie

24. Harmonica Jam

25. Take A Little Chance

26. Tailor Made

27. The Boogie Disease

Disc 2

1. Moanin' At Midnight

2. Bluebird

3. Move On Down The Line

4. The Hucklebuck

7. Midnight Showers Of Rain

8. Prison Bound Blues

9. Bear Cat

10. Married Woman

11. Roscoe's Boogie

12. City Women

13. Baby, Baby

14. Rock The Bottle

15. Bad Women, Bad Whiskey

16. You're My Angel

17. Good Lovin'

18. Drifting From Town To Town

19. My Baby

20. Straighten Up Baby

21. Work With Her Boy

22. Detroit Arrow Blues

23. Carry My Business On

24. Crying In The Courthouse

25. Walked All Night

26. Baby I'm Coming Home

27. I'm Gonna Murder My Baby

28. Bonus Pay

Disc 3

1. T Model Boogie

2. Saddled The Cow And Milked The Horse

3. Seems Like A Million Years

4. Riding In The Moonlight

5. Can't Love Me And My Money Too

6. Flypaper Boogie

7. Somebody Told Me

8. If You Love Me

9. Feelin' Good

10. Fussin' And Fightin' Blues

11. Hart's Bread Boogie

12. Blues Leave Me Alone

16. Mistreating Boogie

17. Worry You Off My Mind

18. Lucy Done Moved

19. Don't Dog Me Around

21. Dead Letter Blues

22. Ugly Woman

23. You'll Be Sorry

25. Long Gone Raymond

26. I'm Back Pretty Baby

27. Blue Man

28. High

Disc 4

1. Tiger Man

2. Save That Money

3. Lookin' For My Baby

4. Homesick For My Baby

5. Feel So Worried

6. So Long Baby Goodbye

7. Cotton Crop Blues

8. Hold Me In Your Arms

9. Come Back Home

10. Chocolate Drop

11. Blue Guitar

12. Believe I'll Settle Down

15. Love My Baby

16. Mystery Train

17. Dry Up Baby

18. Crying All Night Long

19. Way After Midnight

20. Hey Now

22. I Can't Forgive You

23. Midnight Hours Journey

24. My Baby Left Me

25. You're Driving Me Insane

26. Trouble And Heartaches

27. When It Rains It Pours

28. Move Baby Move

Comments

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Oh, yeah, here's a great blues artist! Love his style. \m/
Report as inappropriate
Never heard of him. Love it!
Report as inappropriate
He needs a bio. Loved his music
Report as inappropriate
Another new (for me) disovery. Thank you Genome/Pando r a !

Peace,

Jersey Boy Bill
Report as inappropriate
bednarzjeffe r y
This is as real as it gets.And, yes why no real bio.
Aloha
Jeffery C.
Report as inappropriate
Willie Nix was an innovative drummer and gifted lyricist as well as vocalist, and was an integral part of Memphis's Beale Street blues community during the late forties and early fifties. Nix originally began performing as a tap-dancer when he was very young — his creative sense of rhythm as a drummer likely had its roots in his instincts as a dancer. Nix recorded and played in both Memphis and Chicago, and worked with legendary bluesmen in both cities, among them Junior Parker, B.B. King, Elmor
Report as inappropriate
dboorstin
Why no bio?
Report as inappropriate
Great singer gotta love those BLUES

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