Little Willie John was a teenager when he recorded his first hit, “All Around the World,” for King Records, in 1955.
When his career faded in 1962, John was a grizzled veteran of 25. Although rock & roll was once the province of the young, few singers under the age of 20 have been able to communicate more than jittery restlessness or poignant ache.
Little Willie John did much more. Like his contemporaries Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Clyde McPhatter, Little Willie John was a vanguard of soul.