“Willie the Weeper” is a song about drug addiction. It is based on a standard vaudeville song, likely written in 1904. It is credited to Walter Melrose, Grant Rymal, Marty Bloom, who published it with Morris Edwin H & Co Inc in 1908. The first recording was likely by Freddie Keppard between 1923 and 1926. Many artists recorded it in 1927, including Frankie “Half-Pint” Jaxon, Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, and King Oliver. Ernest Rodgers recorded a version, also in 1927, which shares several lines with Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher”.
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