Low Down Dirty Blues
Born in Collins, the back woods of Mississippi in 1943, Willie (Bill) Magee grew up loving music, listening to Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and B.B. King on his Father's small radio. Life was difficult and Willie experienced many hard knocks. His mother died when he was four years old and his father followed when he was just thirteen. Taken from his parentless home, his older brother Deloy moved him to his tiny one room flat in Ithaca, New York. Determined to finish high school, Willie concentrated on his studies while Deloy worked hard to support him. At the Community Center Willie met guitarist Butch Rosenberg and his focus turned to music. As the friendship grew, they spent many hours listening to R&B and Rock and Roll, especially the blues guitars of B.B. King and Muddy Waters. With a part time job at a Department store Willie managed to save for his first guitar...a $29.99 Montgomery Ward special, much to the chagrin of his brother. Willie promised Deloy that some day he would play the Apollo Theater. A year of solid practice brought Willie to join his first local band and at age fourteen music became his life. Working with various local bands he soon was earning money, and also managed to graduate from High School...the first in his family to do so. His ambition is to become the best guitarist in the country!!! Moving to the Big Apple, he rented a flat in Harlem directly across from the Apollo Theater and dreamed of having his name on the marquee. Before long he was working seven nights a week and he decided to check out the King Curtis Band at the Small Paradise Club. Asking to sit in, he played three songs when the regular guitarist joined in. The air was electric as the guitarists traded off solos and riffs. After the final set the guitarist introduced himself as Jimmy James (Hendrix). That summer of '63 Jimmy James introduced Willie to the music scene and they formed the band Jimmy James and the Flames. Willie eventually put together his own band....The Kansas City Playboys. Several years were spent on the road opening for the James Brown Revue which included the Apollo Theater. Thus, his dream was realized!!! In 1967 Jimmy James (Hendrix) left for England and Willie toured Russia, Japan, Europe and England with his band. Professional play kept him touring on the Chittlin' Circuit and on the New York scene when he was home. It was during this time Bill Magee played with B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Otis Redding, John Lee Hooker, Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Wilson Pickett, and Bo Diddley among others in venues like The Regal and McCormick Place in Chicago, The Royal in D.C., Madison Square Garden, The Filmore East, The Baby Grand as well as Yankee and Shea Stadium in New York City. With the birth of his fourth child, Willie finally gave up the relentless touring and the music business for a 9 to 5 and fatherhood. Relocating to San Diego in 1987, he continued his hiatus from music until 1993. With music in his blood, Bill had to return and is now burning up the San Diego Music scene with his guitar virtuosos and those New York/Chicago Blues. Bill Magee is THE REAL DEAL.