- You Don’t Love Me – 1961
- We’ll All Be There
- Slow Down Baby
- Hey Little Girl – 1991
- Down to Earth – 1994
- Pay or Do 2 Months & 29 Days – 1998
- Junkin’ – 2000
- Vacation from the Blues – 1976
- Mississippi Masala – 1992
- Memphis (film)
Songs Appear on
- Live at Fillmore East
- Mean Disposition
- Blues from Iceland
- Chess Masters, Vol. 2
- Frogs for Snakes
- Got Love If You Want It
- John Hammond -1963
- Years Gone By
- Fraternity Years
- Bold Soul Sister: The Best of the Blue
- Brother to Brother
by Chamel L. Young (SHS)
Known for writing the blues and becoming a blues festival favorite, Willie Cobbs is one of Mississippi’s great musicians. Cobbs’ recording career spanned over five decades. From Cobbs’ personal background to his career, Willie Cobbs has played a tremendous part in blues history.
Willie Cobbs was born on July 15, 1932, outside of Smale, Arkansas. Arkansas, at that time known for its rice farming, did not appeal to Cobbs. During his childhood, he was involved in gospel music within his community. In the early fifties, Willie Cobbs’ career as a harmonic and blues performer began. During the early fifties, Willie Cobbs moved to Chicago where he meet Little Walter, who paid his tuition in blues harmonic. After Cobbs served in the national guard from 1952-1956, Cobbs returned to Chicago in 1958 as a singer. “You Don’t Love Me” was the top hit that expanded Cobbs career in 1961.
Throughout the sixties, seventies, and eighties, Cobbs produced blues songs with various companies such as Wilco and Rooster Records. During Willie Cobbs’ musical performance, he started clubs in Arkansas and Mississippi. In Stuttgart, Arkansas, Willie Cobbs ran the Blue Flame and later opened Turning Point in Itta Bena, Mississippi, in 1974 . Cobbs also opened Mr. C’s Bar-B-Que in Greenwood, Mississippi, where he moved in 1978.
In 1991 Willie Cobbs started recording under Rooster records. During 1994, Willie Cobbs produced his first CD, “Down to Earth.” This album proved that Cobbs was well, alive, and committed to his work. Cobbs also went on to perform in movies such as Mississippi Masala and Memphis.
Overall, Willie Cobbs is a perfect example of someone who sets a goal and goes for it. One never knows what life has to offer unless he tries. Willie Cobbs has shown qualities that really show that have made him one of Mississippi’s famous musicians.
- 1932 – Willie Cobbs born outside of Smale, Arkansas on July 15
- 1947 – Cobbs moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he began to play the harmonica
- 1952 – 1956 Cobbs served in the Armed Forces
- 1961 – Recorded song You Don’t Love Me
- 1974 – Relocated to Itta Bena, Mississippi
- 1976 – Appeared on Eddie Boyd Vacation from the Blue
- 1991 – Cobbs released Hey Little Girl
- 1992 – Appears on Mississippi Masala film and soundtrack
- 1994 – Cobbs released Down to Earth
- 1998 – Cobbs released Pay or Do 2 Months & 29 Days
- 2000 – Cobbs released Junkin’
by Chamel Young (SHS)
Willie Cobbs is best known for his great ability to play the harmonica. Many describe Cobbs’ music as bright, high-pitched, and scratchy, but Cobbs plays with emotions and feelings. Much of Cobbs’ music focuses on his life’s trials and tribulations. It tells stories about his love life and his deep feelings. Cobbs’ music flows with the harmonic upbeat that would make anyone relax.
Listening to Cobbs’ music made me very relaxed and comfortable. I can describe Cobbs’ music as a deep Southern sound. I was brought up in the delta, and this is really some down home blues. It soothes one’s mind and body. I would recommend this album to anyone who is a blues fan and wants to hear some real music.
Listen to samples of Willie Cobbs’ music at http://www.sonicnet.com/artistinfo/500267.jhtml?_requestid=4660
- Delta Musicians
- Willie Cobbs to Headline Grassroots Blues Festival. The Clarion Ledger, July 9, 2014
- Unterberger, Richie. “AMG All Music Guide”. Online. May 2000. Available http://www.ubl.com.
- Unterberger, Richie. “UBL Music”. Online. May 2000. Available
- “Yahoo Music”. Online. Available http://www.musicfinder.yahoo.com/shop?d=p&id=josephmargie&cf=10, May 2000.