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Little Willie John
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    (November 15, 1937-May 26, 1968)
    Birth name is William Edgar John
    Best known for recording ‘Fever,' ‘Need Your Love So Bad,' ‘Sleep,' ‘All Around the World,' ‘Let Them Talk,' and ‘Suffering with the Blues'
    Died at 30
    He never achieved the recognition given to the likes of James Brown and Sam Cooke.
    He had a volatile temper that was fueled by hard liquor and his insecurities about his height.
    He carried a gun and knife wherever he went.
    He was charged with manslaughter for knifing a man during a melee and was sentenced to 8-20 years in a penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington (May 1966).
    He died in prison two years later.
    His cause of death was listed as a heart attack, although other sources reported him dead from pneumonia or asphyxiation.
    Peggy Lee's note for note cover version of ‘Fever' was a bigger hit than his own version.
    He scored his first hit with ‘All Around the World' at the age of eighteen (1955).
    He was one of the most underrated performers during the 1950's.
    He also brought an intensity to his vocal performances that very few could match.
    Despite being practically unnoticed, he managed to score some million sellers on the Rhythm and Blues charts, most notably with ‘Fever' and ‘Talk to Me.'
    James Brown recorded a tribute album 'Thinking of Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things' (1968).
    He was posthumously inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1996).

Credit: 12 String

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