1974 Wet Willie – Keep On Smilin’
In the Summer of 1969, drummer Lewis Ross formed the band Fox in Macon, Georgia and began playing Southern Boogie music. The other initial members included John David Anthony on keyboards, Jack Hall on bass, his brother Jimmy on vocals, harmonica, and saxophone, and Ricky Hirsch on guitar. The band was fortunate enough to become the opening band for the Allman Brothers Band in 1971.
The band recorded nine albums in the seventies and began releasing singles in 1971. Their first charting single arrived in 1974 with the release of Keep On Smilin’. While the single wasn’t one of the top hundred records that year, it spent one week at #10 in August before falling completely off the Hot 100 two weeks later.
The group reached #30 with their single Street Corner Serenade in 1978 and #29 in 1979 with Weekend, but none of their other singles reached the top forty.
The group recorded its last new album in 1979 but continues to tour, mostly in the Southeast. The album title posed the question, Which One’s Willie. While that was probably meant as a joke, we can finally answer that question: when Jimmy Hall is present, the band appears as Wet Willie; otherwise, it appears as The Wet Willie Band.
The band has its own website at
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