Barkin' Bill

Smith was raised in Mississippi, but later relocated to East St. Louis, Detroit and finally Chicago. He obtained his stage name from Homesick James in 1958, after the pair had worked together. Smith sang in front of various blues bands around Chicago for many years, having been initially influenced by Joe Williams, Jimmy Witherspoon and Brook Benton. He finally made his recording debut in 1991, providing the vocals on Dave Specter's first album, Bluebird Blues. His connection with Delmark Records then continued when they issued Smith's own solo debut, Gotcha!, in 1994. Gotcha! featured guitar work by Steve Freund. In his latter years declining health restricted his live appearances. Smith died in April 2000 in Chicago, from pancreatic cancer, at the age of 71. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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