About

Officially launched Feb, 2014, this site is the headquarters for an organization aimed at preserving and promoting the works of the late Canadian folk music icon, Willie P. Bennett.  The concept is this: provide a forum to celebrate Bennett's songwriting legacy by hosting a free access database of his songs, as recorded by other musicians.  Bennett's songs and musicianship were profoundly influential on generations of folk and roots musicians.  The purpose of the project is to rediscover a monumental body of work, a timeless artistry, and ensure its survival for generations.  Engaging the young, modern, independent folk musician may enable Willie P. Bennett's legacy to remain relevant well into the future, while also contributing to a stronger, more well informed and educated community of Canadian musicians.
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Tell us your Willie P Bennett stories. (click here)

In an attempt to allow the community to tell Willie's tale, we encourage everyone to tell us about memories of, and experiences with WPB.

2408/18/2018 by Gregoryvinc

Favorite WPB song (click here)

Tell us what your fave Willie P songs are, and why. Your participation will enable us to establish what the real "hits" in the WPB catalogue are.

1302/06/2018 by Cheri Scully

Willie P Bennett Memorial Award

An open discussion to present ideas about how to administer the annual Willie P Bennett Memorial Award for young artists. Tell us your thoughts on: age elegibility? What should we look for in a young artist? Should we require acts to submit a recording of a WPB song? What constitutes "espousing WPB's musical, professional and aesthetic values? How do we ensure high submission rates?

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  • Ken Ross

    Ken Ross Ottawa

    Still trying to start out clean.

    Still trying to start out clean.

  • Norm@ cafe espresso

    Norm@ cafe espresso cannon beach or.

    willie , just learned today that you had graduated,what a dear sincere human. He played at our cozy spot many times with Fred ,so I was lucky to become friends with him.I gave him a dobro mandolin once to see if it was restorable,he said he was just gonna hang it on the wall and look at it,thought it was a fitting end for that instrument.So my hope is that it spoke to him about its life. The life he lead was like my father, and my grandfather,playing night after night somewhere out there.The last time we saw him was in anarbor mich.,2005,walked into the dressing room and he could not believe his eyes, gave me a big hug,wondering what the hell I was doing thousands of miles from my home.What a great show he did that night, it stands out of all other nights,he was playing as if possessed byjimi Hendrix. I came slowly to the Internet of things,but I'm catching up,I have all of the great music he gave me to listen to,so I'll try to pass that on to as many people as I can,keeping his spirit alive. thanks willie for your humble attitude,the world needs more souls like you.eight strings down! Love to all of his family, a tear from norm& luanne Norm.grinstead@gmail.com

    willie , just learned today that you had graduated,what a dear sincere human. He played at our cozy spot many times with Fred ,so I was lucky to become friends with him.I gave him a dobro mandolin once to see if it was restorable,he said he was just gonna hang it on the wall and look at it,thought it was a fitting end for that instrument.So my hope is that it spoke to him about its life. The life he lead was like my father, and my grandfather,playing night after night somewhere out there.The last time we saw him was in anarbor mich.,2005,walked into the dressing room and he could not believe his eyes, gave me a big hug,wondering what the hell I was doing thousands of miles from my home.What a great show he did that night, it stands out of all other nights,he was playing as if possessed byjimi Hendrix. I came slowly to the Internet of things,but I'm catching up,I have all of the great music he gave me to listen to,so I'll try to pass that on to as many people as I can,keeping his spirit alive. thanks willie for your humble attitude,the world needs more souls like you.eight strings down! Love to all of his family, a tear from norm& luanne
    Norm.grinstead@gmail.com

  • Tom Plant

    Tom Plant Ottawa

    I always thought that Willie played backup and stayed behind the scenes with his talents way too much ie) the harmonica player with Dixie Flyers, the mandolin guy with Fred Eaglesmith etc. One summer night in Peterborough when Fred E. was playing someone captured my sentiment exactly by calling out, "Free Willy!"

    I always thought that Willie played backup and stayed behind the scenes with his talents way too much ie) the harmonica player with Dixie Flyers, the mandolin guy with Fred Eaglesmith etc.
    One summer night in Peterborough when Fred E. was playing someone captured my sentiment exactly by calling out, "Free Willy!"

  • Nobody

    Nobody Everywhere

    Any artist worthy of the award, should be a working musician and "on the road" year round playing to audiences, everywhere and anywhere for what ever a venue can afford to pay them. Even busking or pass that hat gigs. Not unlike Willie in his early days. No basement musicians or studio wizards.

    Any artist worthy of the award, should be a working musician and "on the road" year round playing to audiences, everywhere and anywhere for what ever a venue can afford to pay them. Even busking or pass that hat gigs. Not unlike Willie in his early days. No basement musicians or studio wizards.

  • Irene's Pub

    Irene's Pub Ottawa

    We have a special love for Willie P at the Pub and have his photo gracing our walls at Irene's right beside Stompin' Tom. Two of Canada's finest.

    We have a special love for Willie P at the Pub and have his photo gracing our walls at Irene's right beside Stompin' Tom. Two of Canada's finest.

  • Jay Moore

    Jay Moore Waterloo ON

    I called my brother one night. "Are you busy?" "Yeah, I'm recording this guy in the studio." "Oh, yeah. Who?" "Willie P. Bennett." "Really? THE Willie P. Bennett?" "Yeah, really. He's right here in my kitchen. Do you want to talk to him?" "Really? Willie is there? Now? Really?" "Yeah. Do you want to talk to him?" "OK." My brother, Peter J. Moore, put him on and we had one of those, "Gee, I'm your biggest fan" conversations. It was 1993 and Peter was producing Willie's album "Take My Own Advice." I have no idea what I said or what he said in response. It doesn't matter. I'll treasure those few moments with him on the phone and I play that album over and over in memory of him.

    I called my brother one night. "Are you busy?"
    "Yeah, I'm recording this guy in the studio."
    "Oh, yeah. Who?"
    "Willie P. Bennett."
    "Really? THE Willie P. Bennett?"
    "Yeah, really. He's right here in my kitchen. Do you want to talk to him?"
    "Really? Willie is there? Now? Really?"
    "Yeah. Do you want to talk to him?"
    "OK."
    My brother, Peter J. Moore, put him on and we had one of those, "Gee, I'm your biggest fan" conversations. It was 1993 and Peter was producing Willie's album "Take My Own Advice." I have no idea what I said or what he said in response. It doesn't matter. I'll treasure those few moments with him on the phone and I play that album over and over in memory of him.

  • Ian

    Ian Edmonton

    Thank you so much for this site - not enough people know about the great Willie P. Just a suggestion - this site would be a good place to compile chords to Willie P songs. There's not many online, and it would help people learn and share his music. Keep doing what you're doing! thanks

    Thank you so much for this site - not enough people know about the great Willie P.

    Just a suggestion - this site would be a good place to compile chords to Willie P songs. There's not many online, and it would help people learn and share his music.
    Keep doing what you're doing!
    thanks

  • VOX VIOLINS

    VOX VIOLINS ST. CATHARINES, ONTARIO, CANADA

    Beth Bartley remembers rehearsing in the country house Willie was renting outside of London Ontario in 1980ish with THE MECHANICS OF SOUND. Willie was happy to see people using his space to work up their music. Mark Clifford remembers warming up solo for Willie at CHANGE OF PACE. Mark was going to sing FACES that night and asked Willie if he would play that one soulful note on the harmonica at the end of the lyric "...I Can't Make A Sound...." ... and he played that note from the kitchen entrance at the back of the club...hauntingly just there in the moment... a ghostly beautiful moment for me (Mark).. We miss our dear friend Willie.. much love VOX VIOLINS

    Beth Bartley remembers rehearsing in the country house Willie was renting outside of London Ontario in 1980ish with THE MECHANICS OF SOUND. Willie was happy to see people using his space to work up their music.
    Mark Clifford remembers warming up solo for Willie at CHANGE OF PACE. Mark was going to sing FACES that night and asked Willie if he would play that one soulful note on the harmonica at the end of the lyric "...I Can't Make A Sound...." ... and he played that note from the kitchen entrance at the back of the club...hauntingly just there in the moment... a ghostly beautiful moment for me (Mark)..
    We miss our dear friend Willie..
    much love VOX VIOLINS

  • Frank

    Frank Uxbridge

    in this never ending winter; my weary soul is pushing on; listening to Willie to get me through & through; many stories to share, but today the thought that occurred is that in this supposedly fabulous 'you can find anything' internet world (or as Mojo Nixon likes to say, 'the innertube') I can't find Willie's lyrics; lyrics that drip with portend, & mean so much to me ... hoping this Legacy location will be a place to meet, & share, & find lyrics

    in this never ending winter; my weary soul is pushing on; listening to Willie to get me through & through; many stories to share, but today the thought that occurred is that in this supposedly fabulous 'you can find anything' internet world (or as Mojo Nixon likes to say, 'the innertube') I can't find Willie's lyrics; lyrics that drip with portend, & mean so much to me ... hoping this Legacy location will be a place to meet, & share, & find lyrics

  • Dougal Hines

    Dougal Hines Quesnel, British Columbia

    Willie stayed at my place in Quesnel BC for a couple of nights in the early 80's. He was working on the " Lucky Ones". I still have the cassette that he gave to me. I drove him out to Wells to play a gig at the Ginger Jar. We went for a ride on my 1979 650 Yamaha. Drank a 6 pack of Okeef's Extra Stock and looked out over the valley. Willie's music and songwriting has influenced my own guitar playing and singing. I am greatful to have known him long before he played with Fred Eaglesmith. I was there at Mariposa the first time he played, just after leaving the Dixie Flyers. When he put on a show it was balls to wall. There was a lot of soul in that man.

    Willie stayed at my place in Quesnel BC for a couple of nights in the early 80's. He was working on the
    " Lucky Ones". I still have the cassette that he gave to me. I drove him out to Wells to play a gig at the Ginger Jar. We went for a ride on my 1979 650 Yamaha. Drank a 6 pack of Okeef's Extra Stock and looked out over the valley. Willie's music and songwriting has influenced my own guitar playing and singing. I am greatful to have known him long before he played with Fred Eaglesmith. I was there at Mariposa the first time he played, just after leaving the Dixie Flyers. When he put on a show it was balls to wall. There was a lot of soul in that man.