From a modern-day minstrel...
(Poem #173) Hoochie Coochie Man
Gypsy woman told my mother Before I was born She said "You got a boy-child coming, Gonna be a son-of-a-gun He gonna make pretty women Jump and shout And the world's gonna know What's it all about Don't you know what I'm saying! Yeah, everybody knows I'm him I said I'm your hoochie coochie man You'd better believe I'm him! I've got a black cat bone I've got a mojo too I've got a little bottle of Johnny confidence I'm gonna mess with you Hey! I'll pick you up Lead you by the hand And the world's gonna know I'm your hoochie coochie man Don't you know what I'm saying! Yeah! Every body knows I'm him! Said I'm your hoochie coochie man You'd better believe I'm him! On the seventh hour Of the seventh day Of the seventh month Seven black girls say He was born for good luck And you will see I got seven hundred dollars, baby, Don't you mess with me! Don't you know what I'm saying! Yeah! Every body knows I'm him! Said I'm your hoochie coochie man You'd better believe I'm him!
Go to a music store and pick up virtually _any_ blues compilation; chances are, you'll find that half the songs were written by Willie Dixon. Classics such as today's, errm, 'poem' (Ok, so I'm stretching definitions a little bit. I still think the blues is poetry, though), "Little Red Rooster", "Spoonful", "Back-door Man", "Evil"... the list of wonderful songs penned by the bass player from Chicago just goes on and on. Only a handful of people (in the history of popular music) have been as influential as Dixon; only a handful have been as _good_. thomas. As usual, the All-Music Guide has the most comprehensive info on the net, including this [Biographical essay] Willie Dixon's life and work was virtually an embodiment of the progress of the blues, from an accidental creation of the descendants of freed slaves to a recognized and vital part of America's musical heritage. That Dixon was one of the first professional blues songwriters to benefit in a serious, material way -- and that he had to fight to do it -- from his work also made him an important symbol of the injustice that still informs the music industry, even at the end of this century. A producer, songwriter, bassist and singer, he helped Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and others find their most commercially successful voices... ... Dixon's real recognition as a songwriter began with Muddy Waters' recording of "Hoochie Coochie Man." The success of that single, "Evil" by Howlin' Wolf, and "My Babe" by Little Walter saw Dixon established as Chess's most reliable tunesmith, and the Chess brothers continually pushed Dixon's songs on their artists. In addition to writing songs, Dixon continued as bassist and recording manager of many of the Chess label's recording sessions, including those by Lowell Fulson, Bo Diddley and Otis Rush... ... During the mid-'60s, [Dixon] began to see a growing interest in his songwriting from the British rock bands that he saw while in London -- his music was getting covered regularly by artists like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, and when he visited England, he even found himself cajoled into presenting his newest songs to their managements. Back at Chess, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters continued to perform Dixon's songs, as did newer artists such as Koko Taylor, who had her own hit with "Wang Dang Doodle."... ... By [the 1980s]Dixon was regarded as something of an elder statesman, composer, and spokesperson of American blues. Dixon had suffered from increasingly poor health in recent years, and lost a leg to diabetes several years earlier, which didn't slow him down very much. He died peacefully in his sleep early in 1992. -- Bruce Eder, All-Music Guide and this piece of [Critical Acclaim] Willie Dixon will go down in blues history as, if not its most famous composer, certainly one of its most notable and most popular. While more lip service is certainly paid to the song catalogs of Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters (both great, but both only a drop in the bucket when compared to Willie's voluminous output), Dixon holds another unique place, that of a songwriter who was also a performer, but a songwriter first and foremost. In this regard, Dixon had a lot closer kinship with the Tin Pan Alley way of doing things, where singers were singers only and songwriters furnished the commercial ammunition. That Willie not only a) had the inclination to apply this same working system to the blues and b) find a workplace in Chess Records that allowed him to pitch the songs but arrange and produce these sessions to final fruition is one of those blues as a commercial force equations that supposedly never come to bear in a music so noble and raw in its emotions. But that was, and still is, the beauty of Dixons work. He helped popularize and mainstream the blues from a back porch, back alley, fairly disreputable form of music to something acceptable and welcomed on concert stages worldwide. It may have taken several liberal adaptions of his songs by various White musicians for them to become the standards that we now know them to be, but the musical fabric of the blues would be unimaginable without songs like "Back Door Man," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "Spoonful," "Wang Dang Doodle," "I Just Want To Make Love To You," and "Little Red Rooster." The structures and subject matter to his songs are exactly what gives them their universality; they are both the blues and about the blues. They draw on strong universal themes yet keep their playlets in the African-American community with their colloquialisms and slang terminology; certainly the party revelers in "Wang Dang Doodle" are like few parties held in most Caucasian neighborhoods. Yet Dixons description of the party in that song makes it one thats accessible to everyone from all over the world; everybody can pitch a wang dang doodle all night long. Willie Dixon's songs live inside the voices of a million singers, of all colors and races, simply because his music speaks to everybody who hears his basic, homespun message. -- Cub Koda, All-Music Guide [Trivia] Dixon once won the Illinois State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship. He might've been a successful boxer, but he turned to music instead, thanks to Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston, a guitarist who had seen Dixon at the gym where he worked out and occasionally sang with him. [Links] Lots of them. Lots and lots and lots. Rather than wasting your time surfing the net, I suggest you go out and buy some of the man's music.