The Best of Little Walter

The Best of Little Walter is the first LP record by American blues performer Little Walter.[5] First released in 1958, the compilation album contains ten Little Walter songs that appeared in the Top 10 of the Billboard R&B chart from 1952 to 1955,[8] plus two B-sides. The album was first released by Checker Records as LP-1428, which was the first LP record released by Checker, and then released on Chess Records with the same catalog number.[3]

The Best of Little Walter
Best of Little Walter.jpg
Greatest hits album by
RecordedMay 12, 1952 – January 25, 1955 in Chicago, Illinois[1][2]
GenreChicago blues
LabelChecker LP 1428[3]
ProducerLeonard Chess, Phil Chess, Willie Dixon
Little Walter chronology
The Best of Little Walter
Hate to See You Go
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
Record Mirror[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[7]

The album has been reissued numerous times, although it has been largely superseded by the twenty-song collection Little Walter His Best: Chess 50th Anniversary Collection.

Artwork and packagingEdit

The album cover features a black-and-white photo portrait shot by Grammy award winning photographer Don Bronstein of Little Walter holding/playing a Hohner 64 Chromatic harmonica and liner notes by Studs Terkel, who had written Giants of Jazz. The original LP featured a black label.


In 1991, The Best of Little Walter was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in the "Classics of Blues Recordings – Album" category.[3] In 2003, the album was ranked #198 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".[9]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Walter Jacobs (Little Walter), except where noted.

Side one
1."My Babe" (Willie Dixon)2:44
2."Sad Hours"3:15
3."You're So Fine"3:07
4."Last Night"2:46
5."Blues with a Feeling" (Rabon Tarrant, re-written by Jacobs)3:10
6."Can't Hold Out Much Longer"3:03
Side two
2."Mean Old World" (T-Bone Walker, re-written by Jacobs)2:57
3."Off the Wall"2:52
4."You Better Watch Yourself"3:04
5."Blue Light"3:14
6."Tell Me Mamma"2:47


The following people contributed to the Best of Little Walter:[1][2]

Singles chartEdit

The songs "Juke" and "My Babe" peaked at #1 on Billboard magazine's R&B Singles chart. "Sad Hours", "You're So Fine", and "Blues with a Feeling" made it to #2 on the same chart. "Last Night" and "Mean Old World" peaked at #6, "Off the Wall" and "You Better Watch Yourself" reached #8, and "Tell Me Mama" made it to #10.[8]

Release historyEdit

Region Date Label Format Catalog
United States 1958 Checker/Chess Records LP 1428
United States 1967 Checker Records LP 3004
United States 1988 MCA Records/Chess Records LP CH-9192
Cassette CHC-9192
CD CHD-9192


  1. ^ a b George R. White; Robert L. Campbell; Tom Kelly. "The Chess Label Part I (1950–1952)". Robert Campbell. Clemson, South Carolina: Clemson University. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  2. ^ a b George R. White; Robert L. Campbell; Tom Kelly. "The Chess Label Part II (1953–1955)". Robert Campbell. Clemson, South Carolina: Clemson University. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Past Hall of Fame Inductees Archived 2012-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. Blues Foundation. Go under 1991 Hall of Fame Inductees and click on The Best of Little Walter--Little Walter (Checker, 1958) to view the album review.
  4. ^ AllMusic
  5. ^ a b Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 5. MUZE. pp. 273–274.
  6. ^ Jopling, Norman (10 October 1964). "Little Walter: The Best Of Little Watler" (PDF). Record Mirror. No. 187. p. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 April 2022. Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  7. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. pp. 354–355.
  8. ^ a b Whiburn, Joel (1988). Top R&B Singles 1942-1988. Record Research. p. 613. ISBN 0-89820-068-7.
  9. ^ "#198 The Best of Little Walter". Rolling Stone. 2003. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010.