Monday, November 28, 2005


The death has been announced of Wilson 'Lit' Waters Junior, a Grammy winner and a member of the Fairfield Four.

The Fairfield Four formed in the 1920s, but Junior didn't actually join the gospel group as second tenor until 1982. He was a member of the band as they finally found the overnight success they'd sought for seventy years when a track on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack and work on albums by Elvis Costello, Steve Earle and others led to recognition from the wider music world and the Grammy nominations panel.

Waters appears onscreen in O Brother - he's the grave digger singing Lonesome Valley. Colin Linden - who also worked with the band - is deeply appreciative of that scene:

"You hear Lit in that scene, and his vocal power is just striking. The Fairfield Four brought a different sort of musicality, and Lit was right in the center. You always got a sense that he was one of the real anchors of the group. He didn't step out that often as a lead voice, but once in a while he would take a verse or part of a verse and he would astound you with his power. It was something that he kept in his back pocket."

Prior to joining the Four, Waters had worked with members of the band James Gill and Isaac Freeman in The Skylarks, a group that they formed while the Four were on a very long hiatus. Shortly after the band reactivated in the 80s, they approached Waters to join them.

Waters, who was 74, died from cancer. He is survived by sons Ronnie, Johnnie, Tommy and Timothy Waters and by daughter Julie Helms.

No comments:

Post a Comment

As a general rule, posts will only be deleted if they reek of spam.