Little Walter

Real Name:
Marion Walter Jacobs
Profile:
Blues harmonica player and composer.
His innovation on the harmonica has had impact on succeeding generations.
Born & raised in Louisiana, Little Walter had quit school by the age of 12, & was supporting himself with odd jobs & busking around southern cities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, & Missouri. Arriving in Chicago in 1945, he occasionally found work as a guitarist but garnered more attention for his already highly developed harmonica work. Jacobs, growing frustrated with having his harmonica drowned out by electric guitarists, competed with their volume by adopting the previously little-used method of amplification. However, he differed from his contemporaries by purposely pushing his amplifiers beyond their intended technical limitations, using the amplification to explore and develop radical new timbres and sonic effects previously unheard from a harmonica, or any other instrument. It has been said Little Walter was the first musician of any kind to purposely use electronic distortion.
His first released recordings were in 1947. He then joined Muddy Waters band playing mostly unamplified harmonica from 1948 to 1952, though Chess hired Walter to play on most of Muddy's records throughout the 50's.
In 1952 his instrumental hit "Juke" spent 8 weeks atop the Billboard R&B chart, the only harmonica instrumental #1 to date.
Little Walter scored fourteen top-ten hits on the Billboard R&B charts between 1952 and 1958, including a second #1, "My Babe" in 1955, a level of commercial success never achieved by his former boss Waters.
In the late 1950s, Jacob's fame and fortunes began to decline. He suffered from alcoholism and had a notoriously short temper. He died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend at 209 E. 54th St. in Chicago early in the morning following a fight outside a club he was playing at in South Chicago.
Described as "king of all post-war blues harpists", he is widely credited by blues historians as the artist primarily responsible for establishing the standard vocabulary for modern blues & blues rock harmonica players.
Inducted into Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 (Sidemen).
Born 1 May 1930 in Marksville, Louisiana.
Died 15 February 1968 in Chicago, Illinois.
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Artist

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Albums

CRL 4529 Super Blues — Little Walter Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Muddy Waters Bo Diddley, Little Walter, Muddy Waters - Super Blues (Album) Checker, Checker CRL 4529 UK 1967 Sell This Version
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LP-1535 Hate To See You Go — Little Walter Little Walter Hate To See You Go (Comp) Chess LP-1535 US 1969 Sell This Version
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QS 5003 Live In Chicago — Little Walter Little Walter & Otis Rush Little Walter & Otis Rush - Live In Chicago (Album) Intermedia Records QS 5003 US 1982 Sell This Version
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Singles & EPs

711 Ora-Nelle Blues / I Just Keep Loving Her — Little Walter Little Walter J.* Ora-Nelle Blues / I Just Keep Loving Her(Shellac, 10", Mono) Ora Nelle 711 US 1947 Sell This Version
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764 Mean Old World / Sad Hours — Little Walter Little Walter And His Nightcaps* Little Walter And His Nightcaps* - Mean Old World / Sad Hours (Single) Checker 764 US 1952 Sell This Version
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403 Just Keep Lovin' Her / Take A Walk With Me — Little Walter Little Walter Just Keep Lovin' Her / Take A Walk With Me Herald 403 US 1953 Sell This Version
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404 Rollin' Blues — Little Walter Little Walter Rollin' Blues (Single) Herald 404 US 1953 Sell This Version
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EPV 1046 Mississippi Blues — Little Walter Muddy Waters With Little Walter Muddy Waters With Little Walter - Mississippi Blues(7", EP) Vogue Records EPV 1046 UK 1955 Sell This Version
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852 It's Too Late Brother / Take Me Back — Little Walter Little Walter It's Too Late Brother / Take Me Back (Single) Checker 852 US 1956 Sell This Version
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K1537 Teenage Beat / Just A Feeling — Little Walter Little Walter Teenage Beat / Just A Feeling (Single) Checker K1537 Canada 1956 Sell This Version
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833 Who / It Ain't Right — Little Walter Little Walter Who / It Ain't Right Checker 833 US 1957 Sell This Version
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859 Nobody But You / Everybody Needs Somebody — Little Walter Little Walter & His Jukes / Little Walter Little Walter & His Jukes / Little Walter - Nobody But You / Everybody Needs Somebody (Single) Checker 859 US 1957 Sell This Version
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867 Boom, Boom Out Goes The Lights / Temperature — Little Walter Little Walter Boom, Boom Out Goes The Lights / Temperature (Single) Checker 867 US 1957 Sell This Version
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890 The Tottle — Little Walter Little Walter The Tottle (Single) Checker 890 US 1958 Sell This Version
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780 Blues With A Feeling / Quarter To Twelve — Little Walter Little Walter Blues With A Feeling / Quarter To Twelve(7", Single) Checker 780 US 1959 Sell This Version
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938 Me And Piney Brown — Little Walter Little Walter Me And Piney Brown (Single) Checker 938 US 1959 Sell This Version
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930 Everything Gonna Be Alright / Back Track — Little Walter Little Walter Everything Gonna Be Alright / Back Track (Single) Checker 930 US 1959 Sell This Version
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919 My Baby Is Sweeter / Crazy Mixed Up World — Little Walter Little Walter My Baby Is Sweeter / Crazy Mixed Up World (Single) Checker 919 US 1959 Sell This Version
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45-HLM 9175 My Babe — Little Walter Little Walter My Babe (Single) Checker 45-HLM 9175 UK 1960 Sell This Version
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945 Ah'w Baby / I Had My Fun — Little Walter Little Walter Ah'w Baby / I Had My Fun (Single) Checker 945 US 1960 Sell This Version
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968 I Don't Play / As Long As I Have You — Little Walter Little Walter I Don't Play / As Long As I Have You (Single) Checker 968 US 1961 Sell This Version
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CK-986 Crazy For My Baby / Crazy Legs — Little Walter Little Walter Crazy For My Baby / Crazy Legs (Single) Checker CK-986 US 1961 Sell This Version
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1013 Just You Fool / I Got To Find My Baby — Little Walter Little Walter Just You Fool / I Got To Find My Baby Checker 1013 US 1962 Sell This Version
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1043 Up The Line — Little Walter Little Walter Up The Line (Single) Checker 1043 US 1963 Sell This Version
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1071 Shake Dancer / Diggin' My Potatoes — Little Walter Little Walter Shake Dancer / Diggin' My Potatoes Checker 1071 US 1964 Sell This Version

Add Review

itsamodthing

itsamodthing

October 30, 2016
Where is the listing for the original 1955 release of My Babe?
d-of

d-of

April 26, 2015
edited 12 days ago
Hail the King //:+)
As a fan of harmonica, blues, & music in general, Little Walter is a King.
His playing has never been truly equaled on the harmonica. A true innovator, not unlike Jimi Hendrix was on guitar..
His 2008 entry into the Rock'N''Roll hall of fame as a sideman should be as a bandleader also. With his first-take debut single, 1952's "Juke", the first and only harmonica solo single to be #1 on the Billboard R&B charts (#1 for 8 weeks!), he is deserving enough. Add to that Jacobs 14 top-ten Billboard R&B hits between '52 & '58, including the #1 charting blues-standard "My Babe". Additionally, his early explorations in the 1940's with amplification, quite likely the first musician to purposely use distortion, add to his stature. It seems his earliest classic recordings with Muddy Waters somehow have overshadowed the full breadth of his recorded genius. This being said, perhaps the only thing overlooking this genius may be the Hall-of-Fame agenda.

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