1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Little Willie John

Little Willie John

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Stevie Wonder
  • Category:
Little Willie John

One of the most talented and underrated R&B singers of his time.

Little Willie John had talent and technique beyond his years. His powerful timbre and fervent delivery made for some of the most powerful soul performances ever documented.

Hall of Fame Essay


Joe McEwen

Little Willie John was a teenager when he recorded his first hit, “All Around the World,” for King Rec­ords, in 1955.  

When his career faded in 1962, John was a grizzled veteran of 25. Although rock & roll was once the province of the young, few singers under the age of 20 have been able to communicate more than jittery restlessness or poignant ache. 

Little Willie John did much more. Like his contemporaries Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Clyde McPhatter, Little Willie John was a vanguard of soul. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 1996
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