All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Little Willie Littlefield

Little Willie Littlefield

Little Willie Littlefield began his career as a recording artist at the age of 16 for Eddie's Records in Houston. His first recording “Little Willie's Boogie” was a hit in Texas. In Houston Willie recorded 8 tracks for Eddie's Records and Freedom Records in 1948/1949.

While in Houston, word reached the Bihari brothers (owners of the Modern-label in Los Angeles) about a teenage wonderboy pianist who was currently breaking up at the Eldorado Ballroom. Before leaving Houston Jules Bihari had already inked a contract, recorded Littlefield's first side “It's Midnight” and arranged for Littlefield to come to the West Coast.

When Littlefield arrived in L.A.later that month “It's Midnight” was a big hit (peaked at 3) in the charts nationwide and he was booked in L.A.'s Melody Club and in Johnny Otis' famous Barrelhouse in Watts. He was an overnight sensation. “It's Midnight” not only established him in the Rhythm and Blues field, but also left an impression on other upcoming stars such as Fats Domino who developed his triplet piano- style from the Littlefield recording.

Littlefield recorded about 30 tracks for Modern in 1949, 1950 and 1951 and scored some more hits such as “Farewell”and “I've been lost”. He recorded with L.A.'s leading Rhythm and Blues session musicians including saxplayers Maxwell Davis and Buddy Floyd, guitarists Chuck Norris and Johnny Moore and drummers Al Wichard and Jessie Price.

Read more

View More Photos

Discography

Similar

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.