In the same way that the plaintive, haunting songs of Robert Johnson encapsulate the sound of the Delta blues of the 1920's and 1930's,
the earthy creations of Willie Dixon are surely the defining voice of urban Chicago blues of the
following two decades.
By the late 1950's the raw power and presence of Dixon's songs was providing top performers such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter
with just the vehicle they needed to establish themselves on the blues circuit. The fact that Willie received scant financial reward for his
masterpieces at the time does little credit to the owners of the seminal Chess label ( although this was fairly typical of the treatment of creative artists,
especially black, at the time ).
By the 1960's the sounds of black America had well and truly penetrated the shores of Europe, and bands such as The Rolling Stones, Cream and Led Zeppelin
realised what great songs these were. Their versions of Little Red Rooster; Spoonful; Bring It On Home; You Shook Me and
I Can't Quit You Babe are some of the most compelling sounds of that era, spreading Willie's growing
reputation as a songwriter worldwide. Court battles and lawsuits eventually brought Willie the financial
compensation for his genius he had for so long been denied.
Willie passed away in 1992, but the legacy of the original Hoochie Coochie Man will live on as long as
there is man and there is woman.