Wow. What a life this man lived. Over 20 years ago, he came into my mom's grocery store, and they were friends ever since.
Big Walter "The Thunderbird" was a famous blues singer in Houston--taken advantage of by the music industry and never reached "celebrity status." But he was amazing! My mom and I visited him since I was a baby, and I'll never forget all the fun memories. Like when Walter would put dollar bills on his Christmas tree, and all the little kids would come sneakily take a dollar.
Walter was 97 years old, and did NOT miss a BEAT! He was just as feisty when he died as he was when I first met him. He loved my mom so much, and she was at his side last night before he passed away.
I found this online, and it is SO true:
In mid-career, his unwillingness to bend the rules angered several booking agencies and venue operators. He found himself being passed over while other people profited for his music. Still robust at the age of 90, Big Walter is again releasing his music to the world. At his 90th birthday party, he played and sang many of the songs on this CD.
We will all miss you, but I know you're having a BLUES PARTY up there!