The Door To Yesterday. Vol. 4, No. 9. Alan Warner. 2019

 

 

 

Walkin’ the Blues. Willie Dixon. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 Willie Dixon was a giant figure in the development of Chicago blues music in the postwar years 

and his celebrated songs became incredibly influential to a whole generation of rock musicians.  


Singer/songwriter/musician/bandleader/producer Willie James Dixon (1915-1992) 

was born in Vicksburg in the deep south of  Mississippi. 


He was in a local group called the Union Jubilee Singers and learned how to sing harmony. In the mid-30’s,

 he moved to Chicago and took up boxing for a time before he hooked up with pianist & guitarist 

Leonard ‘Baby Doo’ Caston who invited him to go out singing with him.


 Leonard & Willie were members of a vocal group called The Five Breezes

 and they eventually formed The Big Three Trio in 1945.


 Willie’s legendary association with Chess Records began 

when he became bass player in their house band. He played on the majority of Chuck Berry’s early hits

 and in addition, he arranged and produced sessions and wrote songs for other such key Chess & Checker

 performers as Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Lowell Fulson and Bo Diddley.

 

Following is an alphabetical breakdown of just some of Willie Dixon’s 

standout compositions along with some YouTube audio links…


AS LONG AS I HAVE YOU

 (Willie Dixon)

by Little Walter 

(Checker: 1960)


BACK DOOR MAN

 (Willie Dixon)

by Howlin’ Wolf 

(Chess: 1960)

Also recorded by The Doors, The Grateful Dead & others.


BRING IT ON HOME

 (Willie Dixon) 

by Sonny Boy Williamson 

(Checker: 1963)

 https://youtu.be/D_BlibrQTmU

See also the note below under the song YOU NEED LOVE.


CLOSE TO YOU 

(Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar 

(Chess: 1958) US #9 R&B

 https://youtu.be/CMKTjahlwxo  

Also recorded by The Doors, Stevie Ray Vaughan & others.


CRAZY FOR MY BABY 

(Willie Dixon)

by Willie Dixon & His All Stars 

(Checker: 1955)

 https://youtu.be/SXETCTs6PEc

 

 

Bo Diddley. the Songs of WIllie Dixon. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 DIDDY WAH DIDDY 

(Willie Dixon/Ellas McDaniel)

by Bo Diddley 

(Checker: 1956)

 https://youtu.be/soh4CQqSduY

by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

Pro: David A. Gates 

(A&M: 1966)

https://youtu.be/9XcdG_sXZjA 

 Also recorded by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen & others.


DON’T GO NO FARTHER 

(Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar 

(Chess: 1956) 

US #9 R&B 

https://youtu.be/iXK_2JVYWmI  

Also recorded by The Doors


EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT

 (Willie Dixon/Clyde Otis)

by Gene Allison 

(Vee-Jay: 1958) 

US #19 R&B

 https://youtu.be/_qJ4d7WLOJI


EVIL 

(Willie Dixon)

by Howlin’ Wolf 

(Chess: 1954)

 https://youtu.be/mRlbgi82tss 

Also recorded by Derek & The Dominos, Steve Miller, 

Captain Beefheart, Canned Heat & others.


FOR MY BABY

 (Willie Dixon/Clyde Otis)

 by Brook Benton

Arr & Cond: Belford Hendricks

 (Mercury: 1961) 

US #2 R&B, #28 Pop

https://youtu.be/jfPJRPOHZU


I AIN’T SUPERSTITIOUS 

(Willie Dixon)

by Howlin’ Wolf 

(Chess: 1962)

 https://youtu.be/aIkwAoWqE6E 

Also recorded by The Yardbirds, 

Grateful Dead, Jeff Beck Group & others.


I CAN’T HOLD OUT 

(Willie Dion)

by Elmore James 

(Chess: 1960) 

Song also known as TALK TO ME BABY.


I CAN'T QUIT YOU BABY 

(Willie Dixon) 

by Otis Rush 

(Cobra: 1956) 

US #6 R&B

 https://youtu.be/d-ek5CIJp78  

Also recorded by Led Zeppelin, 

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Little Milton & others.


I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU

 (Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar (Chess: 1954) 

US #4 R&B 

https://youtu.be/UCLp5cIsqWE

by Etta James 

(Argo: 1960) 

UK #5 in ’96 https://youtu.be/RJiL5siOqqw 

 Also recorded by The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Animals, 

Sam Cooke, The Yardbirds, The Kinks, Foghat & others.


I’M READY 

(Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar 

(Chess: 1954) 

US #4 R&B 

https://youtu.be/VrKHz94rGpk  

Also recorded by Albert King, 

Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Humble Pie & others.

 

 

Muddy Waters. Willie Dixon. The Door To Yesterday. Alan Warner. 2019

 I’M YOUR HOOCHIE COOCHIE MAN

 (Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar 

(Chess: 1954) 

US #3 R&B 

Aka I’M YOUR HOOCHIE COOCHE MAN 

https://youtu.be/AFxrLOVwsEE

by Jimmy Smith

Pro: Creed Taylor

Arr: Oliver Nelson 

(Verve: 1966) 

US #49 R&B 

Also recorded by The Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, 

New York Dolls, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, 

Chuck Berry, Willie Dixon himself and others.


LET ME LOVE YOU BABY 

(Willie Dixon)

by Buddy Guy 

(Chess: 1961) 

Also recorded by B.B. King, Jeff Beck,

 Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters & others.


LITTLE RED ROOSTER 

(Willie Dixon)

By Howlin’ Wolf 

(Chess: 1961) 

by Sam Cooke

Orch cond: Rene Hall

 (RCA: 1963) 

US #2 R&B

 https://youtu.be/lCVg0NsWjmk

  by The Rolling Stones

Pro: Andrew Loog Oldham

Impact Sound 

(London: 1964) 

UK #1 in ’64

https://youtu.be/mLrjhQ1-chw 

Also recorded by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, 

The Grateful Dead, The Doors & others.


MAD LOVE 

(Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters & His Guitar 

(Chess: 1953) 

US #6 R&B


MELLOW DOWN EASY 

(Willie Dixon)

by Little Walter & His Jukes 

(Checker: 1954) 

Also recorded by Jimmy Reed,

 ZZ Top, The Black Crowes & others.


MY BABE 

(Willie Dixon)

by Little Walter & His Jukes 

(Checker: 1955) 

US #1 R&B https://youtu.be/cokwVsX4saI

by Roy Head & The Traits 

(Back Beat: 1966) 

US #99 Pop

by Willie Mitchell 

(Hi: 1969) 

US #37 R&B

 Also recorded by Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, 

Muddy Waters, The Everly Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner, 

Sonny Boy Williamson & others.


OH BABY

 (Willie Dixon/Walter Jacobs) 

by Little Walter & His Jukes 

(Checker: 1954)

 US #8 R&B 


PRETTY THING 

(Willie Dixon) 

by Bo Diddley 

(Checker: 1955) 

US #4 R&B in ’56, UK #34 in ’63. 

https://youtu.be/9kAhqaPMsdQ

Also recorded by Canned Heat, The Pretty Things.


THE SEVENTH SON 

(Willie Dixon)

by Willie Mabon 

(Chess: 1955)

 https://youtu.be/GOAbpOAz5g4

by Johnny Rivers

Pro: Lou Adler 

(Imperial: 1965)

 US #7 Pop 

https://youtu.be/-SZCX-5SLn0

by Georgie Fame

Pro: Alan Price

Arr: Georgie Fame & Colin

Green 

(Columbia: 1969) 

UK #25 

Also recorded by The Grateful Dead,

 Sting, Mose Allison & others.


SPOONFUL 

(Willie Dixon)

by Howlin’ Wolf

 (Chess: 1960)

 https://youtu.be/s0aIjyX7vwI

by Etta & Harvey

Arr & Cond: Riley Hampton 

(Chess: 1960) 

US #12 R&B in '61 

https://youtu.be/aZGGWvtKVsg 

Also recorded by The Who, Cream,

 Muddy Waters, Ten Years After, Bo Diddley & others.

Howlin’ Wolf. Willie Dixon. Alan Warner. The Door To Yesterday. 2019

 THREE HUNDRED POUNDS OF JOY

 (Willie Dixon)

by Howlin’ Wolf

 (Chess: 1963) 

Also recorded by 

Dana Gillespie, Tom Jones & others.


29 WAYS 

(Willie Dixon)

by Willie Dixon

 (Checker: 1956)


WALKIN’ THE BLUES 

(Willie Dixon)

by Willie Dixon & The Allstars

 (Checker: 1955) 

US #6 R&B 

https://youtu.be/eRChoG0W0cs

Based on the Champion Jack Dupree/Teddy McRae song 

which they recorded for King as Jack Dupree & Mr. Bear.

Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor. The Door To Yesterday. alan Warner 2019.

 WANG DANG DOODLE 

(Willie Dixon) 

by Howlin’ Wolf (

Chess: 1960) 

https://youtu.be/OYVuBkvXCPg

by Koko Taylor

Pro: Willie Dixon

Backup vocal: Willie Dixon  

(Checker: 1966) 

US #4 R&B, #58 Pop

 https://youtu.be/QCoXlFfe09A  

by The Pointer Sisters 

(Blue Thumb: 1973) 

US #24 R&B & #61 Pop both in ’74. 

Also recorded by Warren Zevon, 

Rufus Thomas, Dave Edmunds & others.


WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT

 (Willie Dixon)

by Jimmy Witherspoon

 (Checker: 1954)

 https://youtu.be/NUrP-E61ohg


YOU CAN'T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER 

(Willie Dixon)

by Bo Diddley 

(Checker: 1962) 

US #21 R&B, #48 Pop 

https://youtu.be/TdJDtkMIpQQ 

Also recorded by Tom Rush, Eric Clapton, 

The Yardbirds, Tim Hardin, The Rolling Stones & others.


YOU NEED LOVE 

(Willie Dixon)

by Muddy Waters 

(Chess: 1962) 

https://youtu.be/WoqR7ztdTCg

Also recorded by The Small Faces & others. 


In 1987, Willie Dixon successfully sued Led Zeppelin 

for using portions of YOU NEED LOVE

 in their 1969 anthem WHOLE LOTTA LOVE 

and also for similarities between his composition 

BRING IT ON HOME and their song of the same title.


YOU SHOOK ME 

(Willie Dixon/J.B. Lenoir)

by Muddy Waters 

(Chess: 1962)

  https://youtu.be/SgAPHNgHJdw 

Also recorded by Led Zeppelin, 

Willie Dixon, The Jeff Beck Group & others.

 As in all my postings, the recordings listed above are personal choices and recommendations 

and are in no way intended as a definitive collection of Willie Dixon’s songs and recordings.


Rock on.


Alan Warner


© Alan Warner, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alan Warner with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.