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

Half Man Half Biscuit: Time Flies By (When You're the Driver of a Train) (1985)

Half Man Half Biscuit: Time Flies By (When You're the Driver of a Train) (1985)

Never let it be said Elsewhere doesn't listen to its constituency. When the cry went up, "Why no Half man Half Biscuit at From the Vaults?" the solution was obvious. (The answer... > Read more

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra: Strangers in the Night (1965)

Frank Sinatra hated Strangers in the Night which he took to the top of the charts, shoving out the Beatles' Paperback Writer in the US. "He thought it was about two fags in a bar,"... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Christy Moore: The story teller and me

Car dealers certainly. Lawyers and politicians of course, when it best suits them. But musicians? I know they gild the truth or embellish it for some self-aggradisement, but I never really expect... > Read more

Lubbock, Texas: Lubbock or leave it

Lubbock, Texas: Lubbock or leave it

There comes a time when anyone who travels becomes Blanche Du Bois, the woman in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire who famously said, "I have always depended on the kindness of... > Read more