Artists – W

Wee Willie Harris

Weezer

In the early 1990s, singer Rivers Cuomo had an awkward girlfriend who was routinely picked on. His efforts to stick up for her inspired Weezer's breakthrough, Buddy Holly (August 1994) - a track whose bubble-grunge hooks and lines such as "I look just like Buddy Holly/And you're Mary Tyler Moore" helped the band reach a nation of(...)

Weird Al Yankovic

Weirdos, The

One of the strongest bands to emerge from the Los Angeles punk explosion, The Weirdos formed in 1976 following a short spell as The Barbies and Luxurious Adults. They recorded several excellent singles, notably Destroy All Music (1977) and We Got The Neutron Bomb (1978), but the group were plagued by internal problems. The mini-album, Who, What,(...)

Westworld

Westworld (named after the 1973 film in which androids go on a rampage at a futuristic theme park) was founded by former Generation X guitarist Bob 'Derwood' Andrews and fronted by American vocalist Elizabeth Westwood.   Debut album Rockulator spawned Top 20 hit Sonic Boom Boy, although follow-up single Ba-Na-Na-Bam-Boo just scraped into the Top 40. Visually the band were styled in(...)

Wet Wet Wet

Fronted by Marti Pellow (born Mark McLaughlin), Scottish band Wet Wet Wet had three Top 10 hits in 1987, and a #1 debut album (Popped In Souled Out). The following year they were at #1 again with a charity song - a cover of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends. Perhaps too wholesome for their own good(...)

Wham!

Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael (real name Georgios Panayiotou) met at school in Bushey, Hertfordshire, in the 1970s and played together in a ska band called The Executive for a while. As Wham! they became huge stars and churned out disposable pop such as Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - as well as 1984's ultimate fashion(...)

White Sister

Dennis Churchill-Dries Vocals, bass Rick Chadock Guitar Gary Brandon Vocals, keyboards Gus Moratinos Drums Richard Wright Drums

Whitesnake

After recording two solo albums, former Deep Purple vocalist David Coverdale formed Whitesnake around 1977. In the glut of hard rock and heavy metal bands of the late 70s, their first albums got somewhat lost in the shuffle, although they were quite popular in Europe and Japan. During 1982, Coverdale took time off to take care of his sick(...)

Who, The

The Detours formed in Shepherd's Bush in 1964 as a local youth club band. Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and John Entwistle (who originally called himself John Allison) founded the band, and having jettisoned Colin Dawson (vocals) and Doug Sandom (drums), recruited Keith Moon as a replacement for the latter. The restructured quartet was adopted by manager(...)

Wild Cherries, The

The Wild Cherries were formed in 1964 by Melbourne University students John Bastow (vocals), Rob Lovett (guitar and vocals), and Les Gilbert (bass). Local bluesman Malcolm McGee soon joined on lead guitar and vocals, and the original line-up was completed by Geoff Hales on drums (although he was replaced by Kevin Murphy almost immediately). Lovett(...)

William Shakespeare

In a classic case of pop reincarnation, John Cave (born in 1950) became Johnny Cabe, then William Shakespeare. He then scored two Australian #1 hit singles and was never heard from ever again. Behind the scenes were ace production/songwriting guru's Vanda & Young (ex-The Easybeats) who wrote Shakespeare's hits Can't Stop Myself From Loving You and My Little(...)

Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon, one of 14 children, was born on 1 July 1915 in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After stints as a gospel singer and boxer, he settled in Chicago where he met Phil and Leonard Chess and began a long association with their seminal record label. At Chess he was A&R man, musical director, bassist, producer and(...)

Willie Nelson

Born in rural poverty in 1933, Willie Nelson's mother ran off when he was a baby, leaving him and big sister Bobbie to their father, who gave them to his parents because he preferred to play guitar. The grandparents taught at a singing school and Willie was a quick learner. By the age of five(...)

Wilson Pickett

Wilson Pickett was born in the small town of Prattville, Alabama, where he lived with his mother, grandfather, and ten brothers and sisters. Home life was turbulent. His mother would hit him with anything she could find, and his grandfather beat him when he was caught with a copy of Louis Jordan's 1947 R&B hit Ain't(...)

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