Monday, August 11, 2008


Another 50's rhythm and blues singer and songwriter who has slipped through the cracks into obscurity is Chuck Willis. Much the same way James Carr (see my post from June 2) never received the recognition he deserves, Chuck Willis is known by very few modern music fans

Are you familiar with It's Too Late ( She's Gone) from Derek and the Domino's Layla? He wrote it. How about Hang up my Rock and Roll Shoes from The Band's Rock of Ages? He wrote that one too. 

Chuck Willis was born in Atlanta in 1928. After a few hits with Okeh Records in the early 50's, Chuck moved to Atlantic Records in 1956. He had immediate success with It's Too late and Juanita. In 1957, he took the blues standard, C.C. Rider, to number one on the R&B chart. It was huge pop hit as well.

His last hit was What Am I Living For, which is a song that "Guitar Johnny" Nicholas has been covering for years as part of his live show. "Mr Guitar" has great taste in covers, so you can be sure this is a classic song.

Unfortunately, Chuck had problems with ulcers and died after an operation for peritonitis in 1958. He was 30 years old. A promising career cut short.

Buy Stroll On:The Chuck Willis Collection from Amazon or add some Chuck Willis to your playlist. These are his essential songs:
  1. C.C. Rider
  2. It's Too Late
  3. Hang Up My Rock and Roll Shoes
  4. What Am I living For
  5. Juanita
  6. Betty and Dupree

1 comment:

  1. You bet!

    Don't Believe Me
    You're Still My Baby
    I Feel So Bad
    That Train is Gone
    KC Woman