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Weepin Willie Robinson
*"Weepin"' Willie Robinson was born on this date in 1926. He was a Black blues singer.
From Atlanta, GA., as a child, he picked cotton and fruit with his family up and down the East Coast. After spending time in the Army in the 1940s, he became a master of ceremonies and doorman at blues clubs in Trenton, NJ. During that time, he met B.B. King and eventually sang with King's 21-piece orchestra. Robinson settled in Boston in 1959, played in clubs, and performed with Steven Tyler and Bonnie Raitt.
"He was truly the elder statesman of the (Boston) blues. He was our godfather. He was the dearest man," Holly Harris, host of "Blues on Sunday" on WBOS Boston radio, told The Boston Globe. When he sang, "you knew he meant it because he had passion," Harris said.
By 2005 he was living on the street and out of touch with his family. Blues performers learned of his situation, held a benefit concert, and ensured he was fed and clothed. Robinson later performed everywhere, from local clubs to the hallways of the rest home where he lived. He had worked a benefit concert with Tyler and two Boston Music Awards shows in 2005. Willie Robinson died in a fire started by a smoking cigarette in bed, the Boston Fire Department on December 30, 2007.