William Edward John (Rise and Decline)

Introduction

The man the world now knows as Little Willie John started life as William Edward John. He was born November 15, 1937 in Cullendale, Arkansas. His family would migrate to Detroit, Michigan in the mid forties similar to many other families on both side of the color line. They were looking for better economic condition and a less oppressive environment. They were unaware of the price for this illusion of a better economics and a less oppressive environment. We will briefly explore John’s rise and decline and the consequences of many who were not able to become successful through entertainment. This will include the school system and the justice system and finally employment. Upon arrival in Detroit, the family formed a gospel group and William Edward John performed in talent show, which brought him in contact with one of the most influential African-American producer of this era. This meeting led to a contract with King records and the first top ten hit for Little Willie John (All Around The World, 1955)

The Hits Continue plus

Little Willie John will continue make the billboard chart with hits like Fever in 1958. This particular song will reach new heights, due to the covering by artist such as Peggy Lee, James Brown and Natalie Cole. Little Willie John was one of the fortunate one who was able to entertain his way out of what would have been a life of poverty, drugs and dead-end jobs. A socio-political system that was never inclusive then or now. And makes no apology for being so. An African-American child’s heritage is never explored, as is the western culture on a daily basis. This concept is fortified in the media on a daily basis, the only people who seem to make progress is the dominant culture. How many extremely wealthy so-called minorities photos are on Forbes list? How many of the founding fathers were from a minority group? The answer may surprise you. The answer to the last question is cleverly hidden. At this point I will use the Rosenthal Experiment to make a point.

The Experiment

The Professor called the class to attention, he then, explained the experiment. There three groups of rats. There is an extremely intelligent group, which was assigned to one group of students. And the students were told that these rats “ are very bright they will work through the maze and find the cheese quickly, so buy a large quantity of cheese.” The next group was give similar instructions expect they were told “these are mediocre rat and may find their way through the maze eventually so don’t by to much cheese”. The remaining group were told “ your rats are really stupid, so don’t expect them to ever make through the maze I wouldn't even buy any cheese. The crux of the experiment is there were no intelligent or less than intelligent rats. The rats responded as they were treated and expected to perform. This is a Harvard study with emphasis on application to humans this topic was explored in the movie Stand and Deliver, also in Lean On Me. Yet, the problem remains. Similarly, in both the justice system and employment opportunities you will find: in th The Professor called the class to attention,

he then, explained the experiment. There three groups of rats. There is an extremely intelligent group, which was assigned to one group of students. And the students were told that these rats “ are very bright they will work through the maze and find the cheese quickly, so buy a large quantity of cheese.” The next group was give similar instructions expect they were told “these are mediocre rat and may find their way through the maze eventually so don’t by to much cheese”. The remaining group were told “ your rats are really stupid, so don’t expect them to ever make through the maze I wouldn't even buy any cheese. The crux of the experiment is there were no intelligent or less than intelligent rats. The rats responded as they were treated and expected to perform. This is a Harvard study with emphasis on application to humans this topic was explored in the movie Stand and Deliver, also in Lean On Me. Yet, the problem remains. Similarly, in both the justice system and employment opportunities you will find: more black male in prison versus white males for similar crimes and the unemployment figures have always been higher for black men than whites, both then and now.

Talk To Me

The Decline Of Willie John

During the mid sixties, Little Willie John known both nationally and internationally is dismissed from his record company. The main reason is his hot temper and abuse of alcohol. After an entertainment session he attended a after hours party. He was engaged with a young woman who excused herself for a trip to the ladies room. When she returned an unknown male was in her seat. Sources claim Little Willie John as the man to give up the seat. An altercation took place the man was later found stabbed to death. Little Willie John was tried and found guilty on purely circumstantial evidence. Little Willie John appealed, made bail, and continued to entertain. Finally, he was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Washington State Prison were he died allegedly of heart failure. He would never reach the age of thirty. Even if William Edward John had continued his education, there would have been more emphasis on the pomp and glitter of his career versus the value of education.

So in the end the Big City Monster consumed him. He similar to so many other entertainers fell victim to his success. In the end the record companies make the real money. Edward William John was able to briefly escape the soul murdering poverty through entertainment. Unfortunately, according to the Actor, Producer and Director Morgan Freeman, these southern migrants came to Detroit and Chicago without any skills and were housed in the worst slum areas. These areas were surrounded by crime with escalating rent and no hope of real improvement. The tight knit families were lost in the big city. Drugs and alcohol were prevalent to help cope with the dismal surroundings. To make a long story short they had been misled.

Fever

I'm Sorry

Peter Green of Fleetwood mac

Comments 2 comments

Akwasi Maru profile image

Akwasi Maru 2 years ago from Macon, Georgia

Great story


platinumOwl4 profile image

platinumOwl4 2 years ago Author

Thank you very much and I look forward to reading more of your work.

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