Songs Performed

Willie the Wimp
written by
Bill Carter & Ruth Ellsworth

Willie the Wimp was buried today
They laid him to rest in a special way
Sent him off in the finest style
That casket-mobile really drove 'em wild
Southside Chicago will think of him often
Talkin' 'bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin

That casket, it looked like a fine Seville
He had a vanity license and a Cadillac grille
Willie was propped up in the driver's seat
He had diamonds on his fingers and a smile sweet
Fine red suit had the whole town talkin'
Talkin' 'bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin

Oh, Cadillac to Heaven he was wavin' the banner
He left like he lived, in a lively manner
With a-hundred dollar bills in his fingers tight
He had flowers for wheels and a-flashin' headlights
He been wishin' for wings, no way he was walkin'
Talkin' 'bout Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin
Yeah, Willie the Wimp and his Cadillac coffin


While looking through his SRV collection, Carsten came across on a rare Promo 12" vinyl maxi single with "Willie the Wimp" from Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. It's from 1986 and its catalogue number is EAS 2615 XSS 174015.

Carsten writes,
On the white cover of this vinyl recording, there's a long text (in big red font) about Willie The Wimp. I never saw this text anywhere else and found it very interesting. Maybe it's also of interest for you guys. Here it is:

    Stevie Ray Vaughan 'Willie The Wimp'
    Willie The Wimp Chicago's underworld heritage. Here's the biograph theatre where they shot Dillinger in the alley. Down the street there is where they held the St. Valentine's Day massacre. The city of Al Capone. Machine-gun Kelley. Guys named Bugsy.

    On the south side of Chicago in more recent times, there were a couple of dudes with very bad reputations; Flukey Stokes and his son Willie the Wimp. They beat people up. They sold drugs. They became wealthy. Willie the Wimp was shot in 1984 and dad threw a funeral. Thousands were invited. Even more invited themselves. People don't often see the recently departed sitting up and holding the steering wheel of a coffin modeled after the Cadillac Seville. A coffin with flashing lights and flowers for wheels. Oh sure, there were some other thoughtful touches, rings on his fingers and c-notes stuck like cigarettes in his hands.

    The post-burial birthday party for Willie the Wimp was held at the same motel where Willie was shot. So it was, Willie the Wimp became more famous in his coffin than he had been in the street. It's a story that inspires song. Flukey Stokes was gunned down last November as he sat in his car. We thought you'd like to know Stevie Ray isn't singing about some Mickey Spillane fiction. He's singing about Chicago.

    Lin Brehmer - WXRT

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