Little Willie Littlefield

One of the Last Great Boogie Woogie Blues Piano Pounders

Little Willie LittlefieldLittle Willie Littlefield is one of the last exponents of the West Coast blues style embodied by the likes of T-Bone Walker, Amos Miburn and Charles Brown.

Born in El Campo, Texas, September 16, 1931, the piano became his chief focus at an early age. Have fallen under the spell of boogie woogie master, Albert Ammons, he was recording before the age of 18, and was playing clubs on Dowling Street in Houston. 78s on Eddie's and Freedom did well locally and Littlefield came to the attention of Modern Records Julus Bihari. Bihari had already recorded Smoky Hogg and Lightlin' Hopkins in Houston and he saw Littlefield as an artist that could challenge Amos Miburn.

Littlefield's intitial Modern session was recorded in Houston in 1949 before being shifted to Los Angeles, Bihari's home turf. On the West Coast, Littlefield's career flourished. Littlefield recorded prolificially for Modern, producing such classics as "The Moon Is Rising," and "Farewell." Upon completion of his Modern contract, Littlefield, moved over to Federal Records where he recorded less often, but did account for the hit, "K C Lovin'," the original version of Kansas City.

In the late 1950s, Littlefield moved to the Bay Area and recorded occasionally for Irma and Rhythm Records, even scoring a local hit with "Ruby Ruby." He continued to perform in the Bay Area before slipping into obsurity. However when reissue albums of his work began appear in England in the 1980s, he was forced out of hibernation. Several years ago, Littlefield moved to Holland where he remarried. Littlefield only performs occasionally now, but a recent appearance at the Ogden Museum of Art via the Stomp Foundation was a remarkable performance.

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