Well I made it through the weekend. Hanna hit us here in NJ, and we made it out with minimal damage. People were tired of sitting inside, my DJ night was packed, and England won their World Cup Qualifier versus Andorra. What more could I ask for? What we have today people is another gem I got from DJ Bluewater’s endless sale box. I know my wallet is in trouble every time he brings the thing over. At any rate, I will get right into this side from 1972, Chick Willis with “Mother Fuyer” on La Val Records.
Robert “Chick” Willis was born in 1934 in Cabiness, Georgia. At age 20, after leaving the military, he got involved with his cousin Chuck Willis, as a chauffeur, for the Okeh Records star. Besides driving for his cousin, Chick would also sing. He debuted as a solo artist with “You’re Mine,” for Lee Rupe’s Ebb Records in 1956. Learning the guitar while traveling on the circuit with Chuck, he started to develop his talent as an artist. Unfortunately, in 1958, Chuck would die. Chick, pushed on though, and became a sideman for such Blues notables as Elmore James and others. Chick has made a career by laying down dirty lyrics, risque material, all in a Blues style. He’s recorded for Alto, La Val, Ichiban, Ebb and a variety of independent labels. His most well known 45 is “Stoop Down Baby”, but even though that was his most successful record, has had a rewarding career for sure. A gifted singer, multi-instrument player, the “King of Stroll” has played parts in movies such as Petey Wheatstraw and The Buddy Holly Story. Off color and blue material dominate this man’s arsenal, and he is overlooked as the gifted musician he really is. If Red Foxx had picked up a slide guitar, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Willis.
“Mother Fuyer” is, as my good man Larry over at Funky 16 Corners would say: “a stone groove baby”. Although Willis is primarily a Blues guy, this offering is a hard hitting Funk piece through and through. Willis’s fuzzy guitar playing, combined with a great horn section and pounding, hard ass hitting drums elevate this underground Bluesman’s up a notch in my book. Already talented enough in the Blues genre, add some Funk into the mix of tunes he does. It’s great to see that a guy could make a career out of dirty Blues, and Willis has carved that niche out for himself lovely. I’m glad he strayed from the Blues a bit on this side. See you midweek with some more goodness from the crates of FMF. Keep Diggin’!