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Baby Face Willette

169 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I know this can't be the first thread on Baby Face Willette, but after riding to a gig and back with Sngrey and having heard BFW for the first time (courtesy of same co-passenger), I am now a convert! What a beautiful record..the one with Fred Jackson on tenor. Wow

At any rate, Jim spoke of the mystery of Baby Face's fate. I did a google search this morning and stumbled across this "doodlin'" website. I certainly can't (and won't) vouch for the credibility of the author of this page, but he addresses this subject, and seems to have come to conclusions.

For whatever it is worth, here is what I found (and, thanks Jim for the sounds! What Lola wants, Lola gets!)

http://doodlinlounge.com/Stories/Willette.html

Edited by slide_advantage_redoux

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Posted

Very interesting ... thanks for finding and posting that.

I think there's a young man in Seattle who's gonna sh*t the proverbial brick when he sees this thread.

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Posted

This should be a possible new thread, don't you think, as in "What Ever Happpen To.....?"

With all of the dedicated researchers and fans here, it should always be interesting.

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Posted (edited)

Wow! I can't believe the family was finally located. And we have an actual date of death.

Lady Byron mentioned in the article was a D.C. legend who just passed away two weeks ago. I never even saw her play :(

Bertrand.

Edited by bertrand

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Posted (edited)

I hope that Mr. Falco passed the info on to BN, and that the widow Willette received those back-due royalties.

Wow, Greg, you solved the mystery after just one listen to FACE TO FACE (albeit 3 or 4 to "Whatever Lola Wants" l) ). Yeah!!!! :tup:tup:tup:tup:tup

Oklahoma works in mysterious ways!

Edited by JSngry

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Posted

I TOO AWAIT MORE INFO FROM BABYFACE JR. ABOUT BABYFACE SR. HOPEFULLY ITLL BE UP ON THE WEBSITE SOON

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Posted

He died "six months shy of his 38th birthday." Man that's sad.

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Posted (edited)

WWWWOOOOOOWWWW!!! :o Can't believe the mystery's been solved. Amazing. I can vouch that BFW had a brother Frank as another organist playing in Chicago at that time told be all about seeing Frank out an about at the clubs. Apparantly, Baby Face and Frank were pretty rough and tumble guys.

Too bad to hear about the actual fate of BFW. I actually had held out hope that he still might be alive. RIP BFW.

Edited by Soul Stream

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Posted

can u eleaborate soul stream? what do mean rough and tumble

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Posted

Pete Fallico is very credible and is a friend of mine. He's probably the biggest supporter of organ jazz on the planet. I did not see that upate although I check his site periodically. I've invited him to post here in the past, but I don't think he's signed up yet.

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Posted

Even more interesting:

I was checking out the Resources page, looking at the Michigan organists:

Michigan: Jim Alfredson, Tim Brockett, Van Cephus, Chris Codish, Gerard Gibbs, Duncan McMillan, Gary Schunk, Lyman Woodard

And I glanced down at Ohio's listing:

Ohio: Mark Allan, Eddie Baccus, Linda Dachtyl, Bobby Floyd, Kenny Harkins, Duke Jenkins, Tony Monaco, Mike Reed, Emmanuel Riggins, John Slate

Eddie Baccus?!?!! THE Eddie Baccus that some people thought was actually Rashaan incognito?!?

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Posted

can u eleaborate soul stream? what do mean rough and tumble

Aric, here's a story Joe Killian told me. He was the Chicago organist I referred to in my earlier post.

What happened is that Baby Face had a full time gig at the Moraccon Village in Chicago. BFW asked for more money, so they fired him and hired Joe Killian to replace him but using BFWs band. Well, needless to say, BFW didn't dig that at all. So BFW's brother Frank would come down to the gig every day and "lean" on Joe. Say shit while they played and stuff like that. Then one day BFW walked in, listened for a while and walked up to Joe and said "You're stealin' all my shit," and walked out. Which was true, Joe was playing BFW's songs he'd learned of the Jukebox, the Argo 45 I think that had "Dad's Theme" and "Zip Five" (Joe can still sit down and reel those off at the drop of a hat. Anyway, Joe said BFW was tough cat. South side of Chicago in the early 60's, I guess you'd have to be.

On the other hand, Big John Patton said he hung with BFW in Chicago once and had a great time. Went to his apt. and met his family....

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Posted

Even more interesting:

I was checking out the Resources page, looking at the Michigan organists:

Michigan: Jim Alfredson, Tim Brockett, Van Cephus, Chris Codish, Gerard Gibbs, Duncan McMillan, Gary Schunk, Lyman Woodard

And I glanced down at Ohio's listing:

Ohio: Mark Allan, Eddie Baccus, Linda Dachtyl, Bobby Floyd, Kenny Harkins, Duke Jenkins, Tony Monaco, Mike Reed, Emmanuel Riggins, John Slate

Eddie Baccus?!?!! THE Eddie Baccus that some people thought was actually Rashaan incognito?!?

Eddie Baccus was a real guy. His son plays in that smooth jazz band "pieces of a dream" I think, (sax maybe)....I think tony monaco knows his son.

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Posted

B3er,

Eddie Baccus played the old Tropicana Club here in Lansing several times back in the day.

Also seeing Lyman Woodard's name reminds me of sitting with his mother in a number of clubs when he was just starting out. She would go to every one of his gigs. She was a pretty hip lady and a tireless promoter of her sons music.

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Posted

Pete Fallico is very credible and is a friend of mine. He's probably the biggest supporter of organ jazz on the planet. I did not see that upate although I check his site periodically. I've invited him to post here in the past, but I don't think he's signed up yet.

Pete does a nice radio show on KUSP (Santa Cruz), which I catch occasionally, and he also guests on KCSM sometimes.

I contacted him a few years ago and asked him to post on the BNBB a couple of times (some organ-related mysteries needed solving, as I recall). He did, but never really found time to post there other than that.

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Posted

I DONT CARE HOW GOOD THAT CAT WAS I WOULD HAVE FUCKING KICKED HIS ASS. I WOULD HAVE HELPED BABY FACE BEAT HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH A BOTTLE

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Posted

Michigan: Jim Alfredson, Tim Brockett, Van Cephus, Chris Codish, Gerard Gibbs, Duncan McMillan, Gary Schunk, Lyman Woodard

Gerard Gibbs - is that the guy gigging with James Carter recently?

Saw that trio - was a little disappointed, more show than substance and musical sophistication. James had both, but his accompanists were not up to par.

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Posted (edited)

Wow, this is a great but a very sad thread.

Edited by Hardbopjazz

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Posted

I DONT CARE HOW GOOD THAT CAT WAS I WOULD HAVE FUCKING KICKED HIS ASS. I WOULD HAVE HELPED BABY FACE BEAT HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH A BOTTLE

Yes, as I did on your behalf. B-)

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Posted

Michigan: Jim Alfredson, Tim Brockett, Van Cephus, Chris Codish, Gerard Gibbs, Duncan McMillan, Gary Schunk, Lyman Woodard

Gerard Gibbs - is that the guy gigging with James Carter recently?

Saw that trio - was a little disappointed, more show than substance and musical sophistication. James had both, but his accompanists were not up to par.

Yes, re: Gerard Gibbs. He was taught by Groove Holmes himself. I haven't seen him play enough to form an opinion. I saw him sit-in once at Rusty's in Toledo and he was swingin' like crazy.

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Posted

It was well known that Baby Face Willette was murdered in prison in Joliet, IL. (A drug conviction.) Willette's mother raised hell, demanded an investigation, but nothing ever came of it. When Leonard Bukowski still had his record shop on 53rd St. here in Chicago, one of the regular customers was the son of a cop -- he sd Baby Face was murdered over a drug deal. I neither believe nor disbelieve that story.

/

Ajaramu once told me that Baby Face was so frustrated w/the producer at the Behind The 8-Ball session that he cried and had to drink a fifth of liquor to get through the session. But "Song of the Universe" is a terrific piece.

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Posted

It was well known that Baby Face Willette was murdered in prison in Joliet, IL.

Isn't that the same fate that befell Little Willie John in the mid 60s ?

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It was well known that Baby Face Willette was murdered in prison in Joliet, IL.

Isn't that the same fate that befell Little Willie John in the mid 60s ?

I believe that Little Willie John met his fate in a prison in Walla Walla, Washington.

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Posted

you have interesting info john- thanks for sharing-- i assume it was a heroin deal? that sucks there wasnt an investigation

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Yes, re: Gerard Gibbs. He was taught by Groove Holmes himself. I haven't seen him play enough to form an opinion. I saw him sit-in once at Rusty's in Toledo and he was swingin' like crazy.

Swing he did, yeah, but after the first set you knew what to expect. He always had an eye on the ladies at the side of the stage, which is alright with me, but he was showing down for them rather than putting in some more substance. The trio had that groove, but James Carter has so much going on it stays interesting. He is so talented he needs challenging partners to stay on a high creative level.

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