Baby Boy Warren
Baby Boy Warren
Handy Park, Memphis, with Howling Wolf, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Little Buddy Doyle and others, and he appeared on the Helena, Arkansas based King Biscuit Time radio show with Sonny Boy Williamson around 1941. In 1942 he moved to Detroit, where he worked for General Motors while also performing as a musician. Warren's first recording sessions were in 1949 and 1950 in Detroit, with the five resulting singles being released on a number of labels. Tracks recorded at a 1954 session accompanied by Sonny Boy Williamson were released on Joe Von Battle's JVB label, and on Excello Records.
Further sessions the same year resulted in a single on the Blue Lake label featuring Boogie Woogie Red on piano and Calvin Frazier on guitar, and a reworking of the Robert Johnson song "Stop Breakin' Down" for the Drummond Label. Warren was mostly inactive in music during the 1960s, but revived his career to play the Detroit Blues Festival in 1971 and the Ann Arbor Blues Festival in 1973, and to tour Europe with Boogie Woogie Red in 1972. From 1974 to 1976 he was also a featured performer, along with Willie D. Warren, with the Progressive Blues Band, a popular blues band that played in many of Detroit's best blues venues. He suffered a fatal heart attack at his home on July 1, 1977, and was buried at Detroit Memorial Park Cemetery, Macomb County, Michigan. Warren was given the nickname "Baby Boy" by his older brothers as a child. One of 12 children himself, he married twice, in 1935 and the early 1960s, and had seven children.
On the Staff, Federal and Swing Time labels he was marketed as Johnny Williams. His chief influences were Little Buddy Doyle and Willie "61" Blackwell, especially in his approach to lyrics, and he stated that another musician he particularly admired was Memphis Minnie, who he knew in Memphis in the 1930s. The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings described him as having brought "a hip, literate humour to the blues lyric". Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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