Billy Wright (musician)

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Billy Wright
Also known as Prince of the Blues
Born (1932-05-21)May 21, 1932
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, United States
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Genres Soul blues, jump blues, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Fiddle, piano, vocals
Years active Late 1940s–1980s
Labels Savoy Records, Peacock Records
Associated acts Little Richard

Billy Wright (May 21, 1932 – October 28, 1991)[1] was an American jump blues singer. Wright is considered one of Little Richard's primary influences.


Billy Wright was born in Atlanta, Georgia. As a child, Wright excelled in at singing gospel music in his local church, but developed as a blues musician when he began performing in Atlanta's 81 Theater. Saxist Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams caught Wright's act when the two shared a bill with Charles Brown and Wynonie Harris, and recommended him to record producer Herman Lubinsky of Savoy Records.[2] Throughout his career, he was known as the "Prince of the Blues."[1] He was a key figure in Atlanta blues after World War II and had a major influence on rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, whom he helped get his first recording contract.[3]

He recorded his last recordings in 1959. He continued to do shows around Atlanta until he suffered a stroke, and then died of a pulmonary embolism,[1] just before his 1991 Halloween Show at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta.



  • "Blues For My Baby" / "You Satisfy" (Savoy #710) (11/1949)
  • "Man’s Brand Boogie" / "Beg-A-Dog" (Atlanta #6000) (1950)
  • "I Keep Drinkin'" / "Billy’s Boogie Blues" (Savoy #715) (1950)
  • "Back Biting Woman" / "Thinkin' Blues" (Savoy #733) (1950)
  • "After Dark Blues" / "Heavy Hearted Blues" (Savoy #741) (1951)
  • "'Fore Day Blues" / "Empty Hands" (Savoy #761) (1951)
  • "Mean Old Wine" / "Keep Your Hands On Your Heart" (Savoy #776) (11/1951)
  • "Stacked Deck" / "Mercy Mercy" (Savoy #781) (1951)
  • "Hey Little Girl" / "Gotta Find My Baby" (Savoy #810) (1951)
  • "New Kind Of Lovin'" / "When The Wagon Comes" (Savoy #819) (1952)
  • "Turn Your Lamps Down Low" / "Drinkin' And Thinkin'" (Savoy #827) (1952)
  • "Married Woman’s Boogie" / "Every Evening" (Savoy #837) (1952)
  • "If I Didn’t Love You" / "Goin' Down Slow" (Savoy #870) (12/1952)
  • "After Awhile" / "Four Cold Cold Walls" (Savoy #1100) (5/1953)
  • "Live The Life" / "I Remember" (Savoy #1127) (4/1954)
  • "Bad Luck, Heartaches, And Trouble" / "The Question" (Peacock #1657) (7/1955)
  • "Have Mercy Baby" / "I Love You Sweetheart" (Carrollton #801) (1959)

Other recordings

  • "Walking the Blues" (Savoy) (unreleased) (9/23/1949)
  • "Ride on Little Girl" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1/7/1950)
  • "Misfortune Blues" (Savoy) (unreleased) (4/24/1950)
  • "Restless Blues" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1951) (appears on Savoy LP-1146)
  • "This Love of Mine" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1951) (appears on Savoy LP-1146)
  • "If I Had My Life to Live Over" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1952) (appears on Savoy LP-1146)
  • "Sad Hour Blues" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1952) (appears on Savoy LP-1146)
  • "Do Something for Me" (1952) (live at Harlem Theater, Atlanta, Georgia) (appears on Stacked Deck album)
  • "Keep Your Hand on Your Heart and Your Mind on Me" (Savoy) (1953) (appears on Savoy LP-2255)
  • "Will You Need Me" (Savoy) (unreleased) (1954) (appears on Savoy LP-1146)
  • "Baby Don't You Want a Man Like Me" (Peacock) (unreleased) (1955)
  • "Let's Be Friends" (Peacock) (unreleased) (1955)
  • Titles Unknown (Fury/Fire) (1959) (unreleased)


  • Stacked Deck (Route 66) (1980)
  • Goin Down Slow (Savoy #LP-1146) (1984)
  • Various Artists: Southern Blues: Roots Of Rock And Roll Volume 11 (Savoy #LP-2255) (1985)
  • Billy Wright/Little Richard: Baby Don’t You Want A Man Like Me (Ace #193) (1987)
  • Billy Wright (Savoy Jazz) (1994)
  • Classics 1949-1951 (Melodie Jazz Classics) (2003)
  • Billy Wright (Savoy Jazz) (1994)
  • Have Mercy Baby (Blue City #BCCD-810) (includes his Peacock, Carrollton, and Atlanta recordings)


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 - accessed July 2010
  2. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  3. White, Charles. (2003). The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Authorised Biography. p. 25. Omnibus Press

External links