Verse Chorus Verse has been digitally remastered and returns to its rightful place at Blogcritics as a daily feature. VCV was created with the intention of being a “Song Of The Day” feature but realized I might have been limiting myself as I looked back at the description I wrote for the series at its inception. I borrowed a bit from Buddy Guy and described this as “A Man And His iPod.” With that in mind, what better place to create playlists for bathroom listening than this little feature right here, right now?
The timing of this just couldn’t be any better. I get to remaster and reintroduce VCV with a playlist dedicated to one of the most important, most covered, most influential songwriters in American history because he was born on July 1, 1915.
You may not know the name Willie Dixon but he was the ultimate music impresario before such a thing even existed. Willie Dixon wrote, produced, played bass, and organized recording sessions all over Chicago during its day as one of America’s most important musical cities. His catalog is as influential as any in rock music. The songs he wrote inspired young men (and women) the world over to become musicians, many of whom later covered Willie Dixon songs.
Lurrie Bell - “Chicago Is Loaded With The Blues:” Not his most famous song but Lurrie Bell is a National Treasure and this song tells the story that sets the stage for the rest of these songs.
Cream - “Spoonful:” Along with their cover of Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads,” this is one of Cream’s most famous covers and a song they dominated live. This song has been covered 1,000 times and I had such a tough time choosing which to include on here (nearly went with Etta James’ version) but Clapton’s discovery of guys like Dixon and Johnson are vital moments in the history of rock.
The Doors - “Back Door Man:” We think of Jim Morrison as a poet and he was but The Doors had a definite blues/garage rock kick to them. Like “Spoonful,” there are so many versions of this song but I like the psychedelic blues kick of The Doors.
Howlin’ Wolf - “The Red Rooster:” Howlin’ Wolf didn’t always see eye-to-eye with Dixon (there are stories of them coming to blows or nearly coming to blows) but Wolf recorded some of the definitive versions of Dixon’s songs (his “Spoonful” is also a classic) and The Rolling Stones were influenced by them.