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The Great Chuck Willis

Pete Grendysa, Official Records, 1988, 1988

OF ALL THE artists brought into prominence by Atlantic Records in the mid-1950's, Chuck Willis had perhaps the most potential to become a great Soul artist in the years to come. He had an intense and committed delivery, and even his earliest recordings reveal the human anguish that would come to characterize the best of soul music. Most important of all, he could write his own songs, and those songs were alternately clamorous and heart-rending. His style was Southern rhythm and blues, without the excessive churchy influences that could overpower or dilute the message of urban blues, and alienate white listeners.

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