Grammy Award winning artist Willie “Big Eyes” Smith passed away today, September 16, 2011. He was 75. Exceptionally talented, he played harmonica, guitar, sang and was a renowned drummer. He was the drummer for Muddy Waters band, and was the drummer on every Grammy award-winning album by Muddy Waters. His most recent Grammy was this year when he, along with Pinetop Perkins were awarded the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. His list of accomplishments is huge. He was the harmonica player on Bo Diddly‘s hit “Diddy Wah Diddy”. He formed and was an integral part of “The Legendary Blues Band“. This band backed up John Lee Hooker in the movie “The Blues Brothers” and toured with Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. An astounding career without a doubt.
The first video is a 2006 live performance featuring Willie, the second celebrates the lives of Willie Smith and the late Pinetop Perkins, with some interviews and some playing. The playing part is very cool as it was done when Pinetop was 100 years old. Amazing.