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Little Willie John


1937

Little Willie John is born in Cullendale, Arkansas.

1955

After failing to chart with prior recordings on the Savoy, Rama and Prize labels, Little Willie John scores on King Records with “All Around the World” (#5 R&B, #6 pop).

1956

Little Willie John records his classic “Fever” at King Records studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. In May, it will enter the R&B chart, which it will top for five weeks.

1956

Little Willie John hits #5 on the R&B chart with “Need Your Love So Bad”, #6 on the R&B chart with “Home At Last”, #1 on the R&B chart #24 on the pop chart with (8/18) “Fever” and #10 on the R&B chart with “Letter From My Darling”.

1958

Little Willie John hits #5 on the R&B chart and #20 on the pop chart with the King single “Talk To Me, Talk To Me.”

1958

Peggy Lee’s faithful cover version of Little Willie John “Fever” enters the Top Forty, where it will peak at #8.

1959

Little Willie John hits #11 on the R&B chart with the Kind records single “Let Them Talk.”

1960

Little Willie John hits #10 on the R&B chart and #13 on the pop chart with the King release “Sleep.”

1961

Little Willie John’s seventeenth and last hit, “Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You),” enters the R&B chart.

1964

The Beatles cut Little Willie John’s “Leave My Kitten Alone” at EMI Studios in London. Intended for album ‘Beatles For Sale’ (’Beatles ‘65’ in the US), it was left off and remained unreleased until ‘Anthology 1’ in 1995.

1966

Little Willie John is imprisoned after being convicted of manslaughter.

1968

Little Willie John dies in Washington State Prison in Walla Walla, WA.

1968

James Brown releases an album entitled ‘Thinking About Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things,’ a tribute to his recently deceased friend and King Records labelmate.

1996

Little Willie John is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the eleventh annual induction dinner. Stevie Wonder is his presenter.

Little Willie John