Artist picture of Wynonie Harris

Wynonie Harris

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Artist's top tracks

Good Rockin' Tonight Wynone Harris 02:44
Bloodshot Eyes Wynonie Harris 02:40
The Deacon Don't Like It Wynonie Harris 03:08
Grandma Plays The Numbers Wynonie Harris 02:39
Shake That Thing Wynonie Harris 02:16
Grandma Plays The Numbers - Original Wynonie Harris 02:38
Sittin' On It All The Time Wynonie Harris 02:39
Drinkin' Wine Spoo-Dee-O-Dee Wynonie Harris 02:29
Bloodshot Eyes Wynonie Harris 02:50
Quiet Whiskey Wynonie Harris 02:26

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Good Rockin' Tonight
I Like My Baby's Pudding
Good Morning Judge
Grandma Plays The Numbers

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Rowdy jump blues singer Wynonie Harris was the kind of double entendre-loving performer whose records shopkeepers might keep hidden behind the counter. His songs about sex, booze, and gambling landed him numerous chart hits during his life, and made great fodder for every “20 Dirtiest Blues Songs” compilation in the decades after his death.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1915, Harris developed his musical acumen at home before making the move to Los Angeles, where his ability and charisma made him an easy fit as a nightclub emcee. After working with various ensembles around the area, he signed to Apollo Records in 1945 and delivered the hits “Wynonie’s Blues” and “Playful Baby”. More singles and record labels followed, including a duet with genre-defining blues shouter Big Joe Turner, “Battle of the Blues”. From 1944 through 1952, Harris would appear on no fewer than 16 songs that landed on the R&B Top Ten, and two of his collaborations with bandleader Lucky Millinder crossed over to the pop chart. Though Millinder gave Harris his start, the two would split as Harris’ star rose and Millinder blanched at his $100 nightly fee.

Harris found himself especially at home on King Records, the crucial R&B label, where he landed his biggest hits: “Good Rocking Tonight”, a version of the Roy Brown song that Elvis would later release as his second single, and “All She Wants to Do Is Rock”, about a sex-crazed girlfriend, both of which hit Number 1 on the R&B chart. Songs like “I Like My Baby’s Pudding”, “Lollipop Mama”, and “I Want My Fanny Brown”, which barely attempted to hide their sexual nature, became his stock in trade going forward. Eventually the well dried up by the mid 1950s, and after a scattered series of less-successful recordings for various labels, Harris died of esophageal cancer in 1969. But his ribald tales never fully fell out of favor, re-emerging on various platforms over the years. In 2015, Harris was introduced to a new generation when “Grandma Plays the Numbers” was included on the retro-minded soundtrack for the hit video game Fallout 4, driving the track to become Harris’ most popular in the digital age.