Wet Willie (band)
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Wet Willie is a southern rock band formed in 1969 from Mobile, Alabama, U.S. After the Allman Brothers Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wet Willie were the hardest-rocking of the Southern bands to come to national attention in the early 1970s. From 1971 until 1978, they produced an array of albums awash in good-time music, rollicking high-energy blues-rock, and white Southern soul, but they racked up just one Top Ten hit, ("Keep On Smilin'") and a lot of admirers.
They put out several albums on Capricorn Records between 1970 and 1976. The core members of the band during that period were Jimmy Hall, vocals, harp, saxophone; Jimmy's brother Jack Hall on bass; John Anthony on keyboards; Ricky Hirsch on guitar, and Lewis Ross on drums and percussion. The duo of girls singing background vocals dubbed "The Williettes" were staple of the classic Wet Willie sound, and always featured Jimmy & Jack's sister, Donna Hall. Keyboardist Mike Duke also joined from The Wetter The Better LP onwards. For a short period of time in 1974 UK singer Elkie Brooks joined the band as a backing singer.
Perhaps their best known LP is the 1973 live album, Drippin' Wet, but their main claim to fame is the hit single, "Keep On Smilin'". They also enjoyed some other Billboard-charted songs with "Country Side Of Life", "Everything That 'Cha Do" (Will Come Back To You), "Leona", and from their Epic Records period, "Street Corner Serenade" and "Weekend" from the LP's Manorisms and Which One's Willie. They toured and recorded extensively from 1969 through the early Eighties, and they still perform today to zealous cult fans.
They remain an active performing band in two distinct versions. With original singer Jimmy Hall in their lineup, they are billed as Wet Willie. Shows and recordings billed as The Wet Willie Band have newcomer Ric Seymour as lead singer and guitarist.
On the Albums High Humidity (Live) and Playing Live Tonight: The Wet Willie Band Seymour, not Hall, sings.
Year Title Label
1971 Wet Willie Capricorn
1972 Wet Willie II Capricorn
1973 Drippin' Wet (Live) Capricorn
1974 Keep On Smilin' Capricorn
1975 Dixie Rock Capricorn
1976 The Wetter the Better Capricorn
1977 Left Coast Live Capricorn
1977 Greatest Hits‡ Polydor
1978 Manorisms Epic
1979 Which One's Willie? Epic
1994 The Best of Wet Wille (Live)‡ Polygram
2003 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Wet Willie‡ Mercury
2004 High Humidity (Live) Fuel 2000
2005 Epic Willie (The Epic Recordings)‡ Acadia
2005 Keep on Smilin'/Dixie Rock‡ Gotdiscs
2006 Playing Live Tonight: The Wet Willie Band St. Clair