- Shake ‘Em on Down
- Big Fat Mama
- Choo Choo de Shoo Shoo
- Short Hair Women
- Kansas City Blues
- Rock Me Mama
- Blues Stay Away from Me
- Parchment Farm
- Big Six
- Shake ‘Em on Down
- Leaving 4th Street
by Byron Winters (SHS)
Wade Walton was born on October 10, 1923 in Lombardy, Mississippi. Walton started off his career learning how to play the harmonica and the guitar (Santelli 429). At the age of 12, his harmonica and guitar playing were influenced by his brother Honey (Hollis Walton), a local musician. Their father was a sharecropper. When Walton was young, he worked at a local juke joint in the Delta (Santelli 429). He had moved to Memphis in 1931 and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School there in 1940. Later he earned his professional barber’s license at Lupkin Barber College. He began in 1943 working at Big Six Barber Shop in Clarksdale, Mississippi. In 1972, Wade Walton opened up his own barbershop in Clarksdale, Mississippi. It was named Wade’s Barber Shop.
Wade Walton worked for fifty-five years as a barber– “cutting hair and slapping out the blues and rhythm,” playing his harp or guitar (Heyl). People said that no trip to Clarksdale would be complete without a trip to Wade’s Barber Shop (Delta Boogie). Known as Clarksdale’s elder statesman, his shop at 317 Issaquena was just across from where W.C. Handy lived in the early 1900’s.
Walton started performing with Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm in the 40’s. However, he did not get much attention on the blues scene until he got with Archoolie and Bluesville-Prestige label (Santelli 429). I Have to Paint My Face is one of his songs. In 1990 Walton opened a second barber shop with his son that had small blues club in the rear
Unfortunately, in 1999 Walton became ill during his visit with his daughter over Christmas and had to have surgery. The doctors said that he had an intestinal blockage. On Monday, January 10, 2000, at a St. Louis hospital, he died at the age of 77. His wife Rose, his son, and a stepdaughter survived him. His biggest album was Shake ’em on Down, and it spread across the world and earned him international attention.
- 1923– born on October 10 in Clarksdale, Mississippi
- 1931– moved with his family to Memphis, TN
- 1940-graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis
- 1942-earned professional qualification at Lupkin Barber College
- 1943-moved back to Clarksdale and got his first job at Big Six barbershop
- 1940’s –performed with Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm
- 1958–Wade Walton “discovered” by David Mangurian and Donald Hill during a field recording trip in 1958 when they recorded Walton in the Big Six Barbershop.
- 1961- Wade recorded his only record album Shake ‘Em on Down for Prestige Records
- 1962-Walton Wade’s album The Blues of Wade Walton: Shake “Em on Down released
- 1970-appeared in Blues Like Showers of Rain
- 1972-Walton opened Wade’s Barber Shop
- 1974-appeared in Mississippi Delta Blues
- 1975-appeared in Mississippi Delta Bluesmen
- 1990– opened a second barber shop with his son that had small blues club in the rear
- 1999-performed at Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, MS
- 2000-died in St. Louis, Missouri, following surgery January 10
- Delta Boogie: Wade Walton
- Mississippi Blues Trail marker for Wade Walton
- Wade Walton: Blues singer who never gave up his day job in the barbershop (The Guardian, 2000)
- Rock and Blues Museum display ‘Wade Walton’s Barber Shop’
- Wade Walton. http://www.deltaboogie.com/deltamusicians/waltonw.htm Heyl, Kier. Delta Boogie. Hairy Larry Productions,
- htm/1999Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
- Fuller Up The Dead Musician Directory,
- Mord, Russell , ed. Walton, Wade. The Starkville Daily Newspaper. Starkville, 2000.
- News Unlimited The guardian Wade Walton,http://www.guardianunlimited.c…es/story/0,3604,135036,00.html.
- “Wade Walton.” Santelli, Robert. The Big Book of Blues. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. 429