Houston Music

Remembering Little Joe Washington, Houston's Last Real Bluesman

Note: this Christmas, Rocks Off is remembering some prominent members of Houston's music community we lost this year.

Houston is a little less of an action town after Little Joe Washington, the mighty-mite of the local blues scene passed away the afternoon of November 12. Washington's death is believed to be due to diabetic complications; he was 75.

I could prattle on here with the nuts and bolts of an overview of Joe's life: his birth on Velasco Street in Third Ward, his roots in the local scene here backing up guys like Albert Collins and Joe "Guitar" Hughes back in the day, his crazy days in the bars of El Paso and Juarez with pal Long John Hunter, his salad days in Los Angeles recording for Syd Nathan and Specialty Records, or his long slide into addiction and homelessness.

But screw it, I have better memories than that.

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William Michael Smith