WNCU Broadcasts a Beat the Heat Special on August 13

WNCU will broadcast a Beat the Heat Special on Saturday, August 13, at 3 p.m.

Although his life was cut tragically short, Little Willie John had gained a reputation as being a singer’s singer. Born in Arkansas in 1937, William Edward John found his voice in the church halls, nightclubs and the blind pig after hour joints of Detroit, Michigan. His remarkable voice sang gospel, blues, country, R&B and formed the basis of what has become known as soul music. Little Willie John was admired by Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, James Brown while influencing a whole generation with his music. His songs are now better known for their covers by the likes of Peggy Lee, Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles and countless others. Living for a short 30 years, his dynamic vocal range and stage show has left its mark on music history. His mysterious death in prison after a dubious conviction in 1968, shocked the world. Nearly 30 years later, the talent and artistry of Little Willie John was recognized by his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. In this special mix, producer Dred-Scott Keyes interviews Keith and Kevin Jon-sons of Little Willie John-and Susan Whitall, author of the just-released biography “Fever: Little Willie John, A fast Life, A Mysterious Death and The Birth of Soul.”