SONG OF THE DAY Little Willie John – I’m Shakin’


photo-johnlittlewillieToday’s song has been covered by numerous artists over the years, with my favourite cover of ‘I’m Shakin’ being Jacks Whites 2012 rendition.

The original ‘I’m Shakin’ was released in 1960 by King Records’s artist, Little Willie (a name he acquired due to his short stature!).  Born Willie Edward John, Little Willie was first noticed by bandleader Johnny Otis (Shuggie’s Dad) and hit the R&B charts while still a teen, selling over a million copies of his song “Fever” in 1956, two years before Peggy Lee recorded the definitive version.

With 14 Billboard Top 100 hits between 1955 and 1961, Little Willie John could still be making music today, but his short temper and alcohol problems led to his being dropped by his record label in 1963.  In 1966 he was convicted for manslaughter after a fatal knifing incident at a show in Seattle.  Whilst appealing his conviction he recorded what was intended to be a comeback album, but after losing his appeal and returning to jail he mysteriously died in prison in 1968, aged just 30.  The album he recorded, interestingly enough, wasn’t released until years later in 2008! Check out the classic ‘I’m Shakin’ above.

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