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Willie "The Lion" Smith


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Italy, 1964


After a brief tribute to the great piano professors gone before him Willie 'The Lion' Smith lets this one rip during a 1964 concert filmed live at the Pantheon in Rome, Italy.

The music of Willie "The Lion" Smith found appreciation with a wider audience beginning in the 1940s allowing him he tour the United States and Europe and up until 1971. But in order to leave the U. S. he needed a birth certificate, so he made the trek to the Orange County Courthouse to acquire the document. Upon examination "The Lion" discovered to his horror that the birth certificate had his date of birth as November 25th in contradiction to the November 23rd date provided by his mother.

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