Willie The Weeper
Posted in Honey on 11.08.05

I’ve been really busy going back and forth to Charlotte for the past few days, so please excuse the lack of Friday and Monday posts. I’m beggin’ you. The Honey, Where You Been So Long essentials are coming soon, never fear.

I joined eMusic finally, the free 100 downloads broke my back, because I mean that’s a lot of blues songs. However it’s more like a free 89 songs because for whatever reason it thinks I downloaded the new Bobby Bare album, which doesn’t bode well for me keeping the service after my other 89 songs are downloaded.

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon was a vaudeville singer with a high pitched voice, who also did some female impersonation in his stage act. He also does a mean wolf impression, which really pushes him to the front of the vaudeville singer pack. This track Willie the Weeper of course is inspired by Minnie the Moocher, but I think it stands fine on its on. It has this really great hot piano instrumentation and I can’t really pull myself away from Jaxon’s voice.

Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon – Willie The Weeper


10 Comments so far
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By Winston on 11.09.05 11:12 am

Thanks for the tipoff on eMusic. I was using Audio Lunchbox and had just about exhausted that resource. eMusic has a lot of the same stuff, but the Shanachie and Riverside labels are worth checking out. They have the Ghost World soundtrack!

Half Pint might be truncated. I only got a few seconds of Willie the Weeper.

By Geoffrey Smith on 11.09.05 6:49 pm

Thanks so much for WILLIE THE WEEPER. It’s just great. I hope you’ve heard Ernest Rodgers version. It’s the oldest version I know of. If not you can find it at http://www.archive.org. Plus lots of other tunes. Check it out it’s quite a site.
Thanks again keep ’em commin’

By fshurrat on 11.09.05 9:27 pm

Thanks for the Half-Pint Jaxon.

By Peter Patnaik on 11.09.05 11:38 pm

I hadn’t heard that version before. it’s really great though,thanks!

also, try redownloading the half-pint. i was able to download it in full from several different computers.

By Rob on 11.10.05 10:27 am

I have what sounds like the same track on the excellent When Hemp Was Hip compilation CD. Sounds like that version transcribed from the 78 at a slightly higher speed than the one posted here. (No idea which is correct.)

Thanks, Geoff, for the reference to the Ernest Rodgers version!

By Winston on 11.11.05 11:48 am

Got the Half Pint this time. Thanks! Now to check out those 78s on Archive.org.

By Jeremy Taylor on 12.31.05 3:33 pm

Very nice! I’m putting you at my favourits. right Opponents will Double Mistery without any questions: http://www.aintitcool.com/ , Grass can Roll Cards Roll Boy is very good Player , Universal Cosmos Roll or not Opponents can Expect Plane

By oliver on 03.01.07 9:26 pm

Thank you very much for helping me to find a song that I’ve been searching for for years.
My dad used to sing me to sleep with the song of “Willie the Weeper” (Ernest Rodgers version).
Dad left us when I was quite little, and I seem to remember me demanding this song at night, and Mum not really being able to do it justice. She was a musiscian and Dad was a scientist, but he somehow sang it better. Probably he just remembered the words with more gusto. But actually I remember he did a great deep moan (bass? baritone? – sorry, Mum never taught me music fully) where Ernest does his wail between verses. And then he added a brilliant “BOM-BOM”. I think Dad’s version would be a hit now, maybe with Andre3000 singing and Pavarroti doing the backing.
Anyway, I loved the song then and love it now. I’d never heard the Frankie Jaxon version before – having heard both, there is no doubt for me Ernest’s is better, but it’s virtually a different song. You give some information about Frankie, but to me he sounds really like a woman singer. Can you tell us more? It can’t have been easy for an effeminate man back then…
And funnily enough, although the song is obviously a paean to drugs (and to illicit sex), neither me nor Dad have been strongly tempted by the former (I dabbled because of my epoch; Dad never, despite being a sixties lefty). About the sex, I only know about me…
Sorry for my self-indugence, but you have really helped me in my search. Your site is being saved in my favourites as we speak!
ps – I’m from Liverpool in England and now live in Kiev, Ukraine, so please be aware that you are truly international.
pps – thanks to Mr. Geoffrey Smith too! for the link and comments…

By Locus on 05.01.07 2:46 pm

Cab Calloway actually based his “Minnie the Moocher” on “Willie the Weeper” (which is a traditional standard) – not the other way around.

By Mike on 06.16.08 11:55 am

does anyone know the origin/history of the song and can you let me know?


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