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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
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Way Back

1. Don't Say That No More

2. I Don't Trust You Man

3. Read Way Back

4. Tell Me Mama

5. If You Don't Believe I'm Leaving

6. Lowdown Blues

7. Woman's World

8. Don't Start Me Talkin'

9. Blues And Trouble

10. I Want You To Love Me (Trust Me)

11. Eye To Eye

x

Track List: Bluesin' It

1. You're Too Bad

2. Blindman

3. Who Let The Cat Out

4. River's Invitation

5. Nobody Knows

6. Hard Times

7. Going Away Baby

8. No. 9 Train

9. I Gotta Move

10. You Need Love

11. Hold It Right There

12. Tigerman

13. Don't Think I'm Crazy

14. Liquified Boogie

x

Track List: Nothin' But The Blues Y'All

1. That's The Way To Do It

2. Mystery Train

3. I Can't Trust You Man

4. Pretty Baby

5. Blues And Trouble

6. Sittin' Here Drinkin'

7. Honey Bee

8. Rock This House (live)

9. Mannish Boy

10. Caledonia

11. Mellow Down Easy

12. Miss Maisy

Comments

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Helena, Alaska is the home of the blues and an abundance of sharecropper s ? ! Who Knew?!!!!!!! !
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Don't read this. You will be kissed by the move of your life on the nearest Friday. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. Now that you've started reading this don't stop or you will have bad luck. Post this on 15 songs in the next 143 minutes. Press the space bar and your crushes name will appear
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I love this song! Caledonia!!! ! A good dancing song!
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We are talking real blues, the kind that gives me goosebumps up my spine, wow ,thank you , I have loved the blues ever since I first heard this incredible music in the early 60s
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hey hey hey
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wooh
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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
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Dam that is the best of blues.
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oh yeah this guys good
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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!
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Just good ole fashion blues
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billgoll
Good stuff! Didn't know there were any sharecropper s in Alaska. I wonder if he could see Russia from his front porch?
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MIkey's Hits just found another brother of REAL BLUES!!!!!!!
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tojeffthacke r
Still alive?
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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
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justintealmo r g a n
love it
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20 YEARS WITH MUDDY WATERS!!
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wmmcclintock
Yeah Baby, Raised in Helena, AR
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sounds like off limits bar in louville
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hdarnell1954
may he rest in peace
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GREATEST BLUES DRUMMER PLAYING, GREATEST HARMONICA BLUES HARP PLAYING(ALON G WITH OTHER "GREATESTS" LIKE JAMES COTTON, CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE, AND BOB CORRITORE)
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bburnet
Yes, thank you for noticing that. I didn't think many blues artists came from Alaska.
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landarch

Hey bio writer, Arkansas is abbreviated AR not AK (Alaska).
Report as inappropriate
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!!!
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yes.
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YES, YES, HOW CAN YOU KEEP A "GOOD BLUES MAN DOWN???" GOOD LUCK TO YOU MR W "BIG EYES" SMITH. MR. CLARK
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Nice
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GOOD " HARP " BLUES MAN . I ENJOY WHAT "BIG EYES" HAS TO :SING" ABOUT.
Report as inappropriate
He was born in Helena Arkansa (AR), not Alaska (AK).
Report as inappropriate
At 74 - he can still blow some harp...saw him w pinetop in San Antonio, Tx...Great Show !
Report as inappropriate
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.
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magruver
AWESOME BLUES,,,,,,, , , , , , ALL RIGHT,,
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dextercollin s 5 3 8 6
awesome. total blues

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