Willie Trice

Willie Trice

Place of birth: 
Orange County, NC
Date of birth: 
02.10.1908
Place of death: 
Orange County, NC
Date of death: 
12.11.1976

William Augusta Trice was a Piedmont Blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Trice was born north of Chapel Hill, sometime between 1908 and 1911. His parents were Rueben Auston and Lula Mae Trice.

Both of Trice's parents played music—his mother played the organ at church functions, and his father was a guitarist and music teacher—but it was mainly his uncle Luther who taught Willie the rudiments of blues guitar playing. His biggest influence was Reverend Gary Davis, also known as Blind Gary Davis. Trice formed a duo with his younger brother, Richard Trice, in Durham, North Carolina, in the 1930s. The brothers befriended Blind Boy Fuller in 1933, and it was this relationship that led the Trice brothers to enter a recording studio in July 1937.

During that session, Willy Trice recorded six songs for Decca Records in New York; two sides of his own, two sides by Richard with Willy as backup, and two that were unissued. The two sides by Willy (mispelled as "Welly Trice") were released as "Come On in Here Mama" and "Let Her Go God Bless Her."

Trice married Ada Scott April 9, 1938; they were separated by May 1950.

In 1970, both of his legs were amputated below the knee as a result of diabetes. In 1971, he recorded two songs he wrote, "Three Little Kittens Rag" and "One Dime Blues," for Trix Records, which were released as a single the following year. Between 1971 and December 1973, he recorded enough songs for an album, "Blue and Rag'd," released by Trix in 1975.

Trice lived his whole life in the same area, never moving north even when his brother Richard did. He died at his home north of Chapel Hill/west of Durham, in December 1976. He was interred at Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cemetery, in rural Orange County.Richard, who died in 2000, was buried next to him.
 

For detailed information on the Troce brothers' music, see: wirz.de/music/tricewil.htm

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