The Complete Singles As & Bs 1951-59
Styles: Blues, R&B, Rock 'n' roll
Catalogue Number: ADDCD3198
Chuck Willis was a hugely talented and distinctive R&B, blues and rock ‘n’ roll singer and songwriter during the 1950s, his life and career cut short in 1958 when he succumbed to illness at the age of 30, a tragedy which undoubtedly prevented him from making his mark in an even more emphatic way during the post rock ‘n’ roll era and beyond. He was a highly convincing blues shouter, but he also was adept at performing smooth R&B ballads, which enabled his writing and recording to range across the different styles during what was a dynamic era in popular music. After making his recording debut for Columbia in 1951, he moved across to their Okeh label, and had Top 5 R&B hits with “My Story”, “Going To The River”, “You’re Still My Baby”, before moving to Atlantic in 1956 to score more hits with “It’s Too Late”, “C.C. Rider” and R&B No. 1, and his sadly ironic valedictory No. 1 with “What Am I Living For” in 1958. Along the way, he wrote hits for other artists like “Oh What A Dream” for Ruth Brown. This great value 57-track 2-CD set comprises the A and B sides of all his singles, plus some bonus LP tracks. As such, it represents a comprehensive overview of his chart-focused recording activity, and is an excellent showcase for his distinctive talent.