Willie Love

Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Willie Love (November 4, 1906 August 19, 1953) was an American Delta blues pianist. He is best known for his association with, and accompaniment of Sonny Boy Williamson II.
Willie Love

Love was born in Duncan, Mississippi, and in 1942, he met Sonny Boy Williamson II in Greenville, Mississippi. They played regularly together at juke joints throughout the Mississippi Delta. Love was influenced by the piano playing of Leroy Carr, and adept at both standard blues and boogie-woogie styling.

In 1947 Charley Booker moved to Greenville, where he worked with Love. Two years later, Oliver Sain also relocated to Greenville to join his stepfather, Love, as the drummer in a band fronted by Williamson. When Williamson recorded for Trumpet Records in March 1951, Love played the piano on the recordings. Trumpet's owner, Lillian McMurray, had Love return the following month, and again in July 1951, when Love recorded his best known number, the self-penned, "Everybody's Fishing." Love played piano and sang, while the accompanying guitar come from Elmore James and Joe Willie Wilkins. His backing band was known as the Three Aces. A further studio session in December 1951 had Love backed by Little Milton (guitar), T.J. Green (fiddle), and Junior Blackman (drums). In his teenage years, Eddie Shaw played tenor saxophone with both Milton and Love.

Under his own name, Love did not return to the studio until March 1953, when he cut "Worried Blues" and "Lonesome World Blues." Despite the friendship between them, Love did not utilise Williamson's playing on any of his own material. In April 1953, Love and Williamson recorded in Houston, Texas, but it was Love's final recording session.

Love played piano on Williamson's albums, I Ain't Beggin' Nobody and Clownin' With The World (1953). All of Love's own recordings appeared on the compilation album, Greenville Smokin', issued in 2000.

After suffering the effects of years of heavy drinking, Love died of bronchopneumonia, in August 1953, at the age of 46. He was interred at the Elmwood Cemetery in Jackson, Mississippi.

Click the PLAY button below to start the stream