Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

 |   |  1 min read

Little Willie John: Let Them Talk (1960)

One of Bob Marley's greatest and most pivotal songs was Soul Rebel, in the earliest version you can hear him moving away from the secular rude boy world into embracing the Rastafarian faith.

He announces he is a "soul rebel", and while you can lock a rebellious man away, take his weapons and slander his name, if he is a rebel right from his soul he will never be broken.

In that wonderful song he says, "let them talk, talk don't bother me" as he addreses how they "gossip around the corner" about him, presumably because he was changing.

A lover of soul music who covered a number of soul classics (and spiritual songs) in his earliest years as he was trying to find his idiom -- and he adapted/adopted Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready into One Love -- Marley doubtless knew Little Willie John (1937-68).

And it's maybe not drawing too long a bow to say Soul Rebel is the spiritual offspring of this secular classic in which Willie John lets the gossipers know he doesn't care what they say ("let them talk, talk don't bother me" he announces) because he is aching with love and declaring it openly for all the cynical world to see.

Let them talk . . . about Little Willie and Brother Bob. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

roger bernard - Aug 9, 2012

awesome tenor-baritone voice.

Mark Ackerman - Sep 27, 2012

Having a fine time here in the Vault. But that's a pic of Lloyd Price not the great Little Willie. GRAHAM REPLIES: You were so right, no excuses. Correct photo now placed. Many thanks. Readers should feel free to correct me, let's get it right.

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Perry Como: (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (1959)

Perry Como: (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 (1959)

In the hands of Chuck Berry and the Rolling Stones, Route 66 became a classic rock song -- but its history goes further back and the song has been rendered in the styles of earlier eras. And later... > Read more

Bob Dylan: Neighborhood Bully (1983)

Bob Dylan: Neighborhood Bully (1983)

As I write, the fragile "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians on the West Bank looks to be holding. At least, the missile attacks from both sides have stopped and some people are... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . VERNON DALHART: Are you ready for the country?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . VERNON DALHART: Are you ready for the country?

While it's not uncommon to hear people speak of some kind of "parallel universe" where another and different version of ourselves might exist, few would actually believe it exists.... > Read more

Vetiver: The Errant Charm (SubPop)

Vetiver: The Errant Charm (SubPop)

Although on the receiving end of polite but unimpressed reviews in some circles, there's no denying the quiet charm of this album which suggests last light in California and the sun glinting off... > Read more