Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Songs from my archives: My Babe by Little Walter

This post is the start of a weekly series on songs from my archives. I plan to feature music and artists you may not be familiar with. I hope you like what you hear.

The first song is classic Chicago blues from the great Little Walter. My Babe was written by Willie Dixon for Walter in 1955. Recorded with Robert Lockwood, Jr (guitar), Willie Dixon (bass), and Fred Bellow (drums), it features Walter's killer harp and vocals. This version went to number 1 on the R and B charts in March 0f 1955. It was later covered by Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, The Animals, and many others.

Little Walter is considered by blues fans to be one of the best players ever to pick up a harmonica. His unique style and tone came from playing through a microphone and amplifier. He was one of the first to distort his sound in this way. Besides his own records, he can be heard on many of the Chess records of that era.

If you like what you hear, there are several Little Walter collections available. The Best of Little Walter and Little Walter: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection are on iTunes or Amazon.