Willie Hightower

R&B Vocals, Cornet FAME Studio

Born: Gadsden, AL

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

 

Willie Hightower was an early fixture in Chicago jazz. The husband of pianist Lottie Hightower, he led a band in New Orleans on and off during 1908-20 including one called the American Stars. After moving to Chicago in 1921, Hightower played with a variety of obscure groups and then was featured with Carroll Dickerson's Orchestra and his wife's big band (Lottie E. Hightower's Night Hawks). He played in local shows during the 1930's and gigged with Andrew Hilaire in 1933 before retiring from music to work fulltime at the Musicians Union. Willie Hightower recorded two numbers ("Boar Hog Blues" and "Squeeze Me") during his only set as a leader in 1927. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Teaming with veteran producer Bobby Robinson, Hightower cut some fine soul during the '60s. The Gadsden, AL, native traveled the gospel circuit before going secular, waxing his first singles for Robinson's Enjoy logo. Hightower's soulful version of the folk standard "If I Had a Hammer" turned some heads, but he didn't scale the R&B charts until 1969 when "It's a Miracle" proved a decent seller on Capitol. ~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide

More info: http://www.contactmusic.com/new/home.nsf/webpages/williehightowerx18x10x04

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