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King of the Juke Joint Part of Showband Concert


Blues Boy Willie's love of the harmonica is evident when he steps on stage and his latest album brings back porch jam back to the roots of the blues. He began his career in the small cotton farming community of Memphis, Texas. On Nov. 20, he joins the USAO Showband for its fall concert. The concert is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on the USAO campus. The performance is free and open to the public. (Click photo for slideshow)

King of the Juke Joint Part of Showband Concert

 

He's known as the undisputed King of the Juke Joint Blues and as a professional classic bluesman. He's written some 300 songs so far and he mesmerizes audiences of all ages. On Nov. 20, Blues Boy Willie comes to Chickasha as the special guest of the USAO Showband during their fall concert.



The concert is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in Te Ata Memorial Auditorium on the USAO campus. The performance is free and open to the public. Donations for baby Kayden will be accepted.

Kayden Ward is a nine-week old baby with congenital lymphedema. More information about Kayden is available at www.babykayden.org.

William McFalls (Blues Boy Willie) was born in 1946 before school integration in Memphis, Texas. His life changed after integration in 1962. He moved to a new school and became a star football player and track runner.

His father played harmonica and William was very interested in his father's talent and wanted to follow in his footsteps. His older brothers were playing and entertaining and involved him at a young age. His first performance was with his brother's band at the age of five.

He continued to sing in local 'juke' joints and roadhouses. He and his lifelong friend, B.B. Coleman, played in their hometown as they grew up.  After high school, Coleman went to Atlanta and McFalls started college before moving to Los Angeles to play in his brother's band. McFalls experienced the rough life of the starving artist while in California.

McFalls got his break when Coleman took him to Atlanta to record with him. They released Strange Things Happen in 1989. In 1990, they released Be Who? The album stayed on the Billboard charts for 21 weeks.

They recorded Be Who 2 and Be Who 3. Coleman and McFalls produced six albums with Ichiban Records until Coleman passed away in 1990. Financial stress and loss relationships took their toll on McFalls and he suffered a heart attack in 1994.

McFalls came back in 1996 with Back Again and continues to perform. Yahoo Music, Amazon and others have compared his musical talents to B.B. King.

McFalls has been featured in magazines and television programs that include Southwest Blues, Accent West and Bob Phillip's The Texas Country Reporter television program. He has been inducted into the Texas Blues Hall of Fame.

Over the past few years, the USAO Showband has gained a reputation for combining pop, blues, big band, jazz and country styles into soulful and energetic performances.

Under the direction of guitarist Joe Settlemires, the youngest surviving member of the Texas Playboys, the Showband has performed across the state as ambassadors to USAO for more than six years. A noted musician in his own right, Settlemires has been inducted into four musical halls of fame, including three western swing organizations. Settlemires arranges all the music and directs the Showband with the assistance of his wife, Donna.

The Showband features brass, rhythm section, drums and vocalists. “I’ve worked with many professionals in my life, but working with the students at USAO is truly an honor. The group of students in the band is dedicated and truly want to learn the craft,” Settlemires said.