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 William Lorenzo “Weepin' Willie” Robinson

William Lorenzo “"Weepin' Willie"” Robinson

Birth
Death 30 Dec 2007 (aged 81)
Burial Bourne, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 24088950 · View Source
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Blues singer, also known as "Boston's Elder Statesman Of The Blues", he started working at the young age of 10 as a share cropper. After five years, his father sent him to the Trenton, New Jersey area to live with a family friend. The 15 year old became a farm worker, then a dishwasher and then became a milk truck driver. Then at age 17, he served the U.S. Army for three years. After the army, he returned to Trenton, New Jersey to become an emcee at a local night club, where he found his calling. The club booked leading blues performers such as B.B. King and many others. Robinson became a unique personality. The club's blues artists liked the special way Robinson warmed up the audiences before their performances. The club owner suggested he adopt the name "Willie the Weeper". Robinson did not favor the name. Later, he shortened the name to "Weepin' Willie" and used the nick-name for the rest of his life. He soon was invited to sing with B.B.King's 21-piece band. Soon after, he was fronting a blues combo led by saxophonist Jimmy Taylor. Robinson and band then moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1959. From that time, until his death, he sang with many top performing blues artists, including the legendary Bonnie Raitt. In 1999 at the age of 73, Robinson finally released "At Last, On Time", his first CD, featuring guest appearances by Mighty Sam McClain and the rising star Susan Tedeschi. Additionally, he released a track on Tone Cool records "Boston Blues Blast" and a track to the recent Appleseed records release, "Give US Your Poor". Through all the many years of performing, Robinson never found a stable home life. His wife, Alice, died forty some years earlier. By 2005, he was on the street, sleeping in a homeless shelter and out of touch with his family. After local blues performers heard about the news, a benefit concert was held in Robinson's honor and enough money was raised to make sure Robinson was taken better care of. He later moved to the Mount Pleasant Home in Boston's Jamaica Plain section with help from director Merlin Southwick. From that time, he and with his band - Weepin' Willie and The All Star Blues Band, continued to perform everywhere from local clubs to the assisted living home's hallways. Robinson worked a benefit concert with Steven Tyler of the rock group Aerosmith. He was booked into many high-profile shows, including two of Boston's Music Award shows in 2005 and another in December, 2007. Robinson and his band gave their last performance on December 25, 2007 at the Mount Pleasant Home. Cause of death: Passed away from a fire caused by Robinson smoking in bed.


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  • Created by: Daniel Lee Taylor Sr.
  • Added: 21 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24088950
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Lorenzo “"Weepin' Willie"” Robinson (6 Jul 1926–30 Dec 2007), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24088950, citing Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Daniel Lee Taylor Sr. (contributor 46799249) .