First recorded by Johnny Darrell (1970).
Also recorded by The Byrds (1970, released 2000), Seatrain (1970).
Album hit versions by Little Feat (1971 |1972 |1978), Linda Ronstadt (1974).
From the wiki: ‘Willin” was written by Lowell George, of Little Feat, but first recorded in the spring of 1970 by Johnny Darrell for his album California Stop-Over. The song is about a truck driver in the American southwest who makes some extra cash smuggling cigarettes and transporting illegals across the border from Mexico. George’s opening line, in which the narrator describes himself as being ‘warped by the rain,’ originated in a conversation between George and drummer Richie Hayward. Hayward had used it to describe a rocking chair. Prior to forming Little Feat, George was a member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. It is probable that this song was a reason for his departure, due to its drug references in the chorus. It is known that his leaving had something to do with his drug use, which Zappa heavily frowned upon.
First recorded by Sylvester & the Hot Band (1973).
Hit version by Three Dog Night (US #33 1974).
Also recorded by Frankie Miller (1974), Maria Muldaur (1974), B.J. Thomas (1974), Little Feat (1974, released 2000), Allen Toussaint (1976), Levon Helm (1978).
From the wiki: “‘Play Something Sweet (Brickyard Blues)’ was written by Allen Toussaint, and was first recorded in 1973 by Sylvester & the Hot Band for the album Bazaar. In 1974, Toussaint would also produced an album by Frankie Miller, High Life, that included ‘Play Something Sweet’ among six other Toussaint-penned songs featured.
“It was Miller’s version, one among several other productions recorded in 1974 (including covers by B.J. Thomas, and by Maria Muldaur), that attracted the immediate interest of Three Dog Night whose 1974 arrangement would became the only release of ‘Play Something Sweet’ to crack the US Top-40.
“Another recording produced in 1974 was by Little Feat, during the course of the Feats Don’t Fail Me Now recording sessions. This version, however, would not be released until 2000 when it was included in the retrospective compilation Hotcakes & Outtakes: 30 Years of Little Feat.
“Toussaint’s own version of his song made its first appeared on a compilation titled Live at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 1976. Levon Helm would record ‘Play Something Sweet’ for his second album independent of The Band, Levon Helm, in 1978.”
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