WEEPIN' WILLIE'S HAPPY JUST SINGIN' THE BLUES
Weepin' Willie Robinson is Boston's elder statesman of the blues. The Dorchester singer has seen, heard and sung it all in nearly four decades here. "I started off in Louie's Lounge in Roxbury and then went to the Peppermint Lounge in downtown Boston and the Golden Nugget on Boylston Street," recalled the Atlanta native, who moved here in 1959.
…Before arriving in the Hub, while he was working as a nightclub emcee in Trenton, N.J., Robinson connected with the artist who would influence his style for the rest of his career: B.B. King."I told B.B. that I wanted to be a singer, because the singer gets all the girls," he said, with a laugh. "So he told me to sing and I said I didn't know no songs but two and he said, `Well, come on up and sing 'em!' "At that time B.B. had a 21-piece band . . . I'd never been onstage with that much behind me. Well, I finally got into it and I've been trying to sing ever since."
…"It's the genuine, from-the-heart feeling that Weepin' Willie conveys," said Gary Barcus, a member of Robinson's band. There's nothing phony about him."
… But he hasn't been able to get his own CD recorded.
"Before I die, my life ambition is to get one CD out," Robinson said. "Every time it's looked like it was going to happen, it hasn't, so it's been kind of frustrating. But you try some more."
That disappointment aside, the singer wouldn't change a thing about his life's musical choice. "If I'm down and I hear a good blues tune, man, I feel good," he said.
"I'm not like some people who sing, `Oh, my baby left me,' and all this bad stuff. And I don't pretend to be as great as guys like Bobby `Blue' Bland. But I think I'm one hell of an entertainer. The blues just make me feel good."
"Weepin' Willie's Happy Just Singin' the Blues," by Bob Young, Boston Herald, July 5, 1998.