Willie Hayes


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Musician, Drummer

Willie Hayes was a Chicago blues drummer renowned for his versatile style, making him an ideal fit for a wide range of performers and media. Over the years, he became a prominent figure in both films and recordings, notably appearing in movies such as 594 Miles from Chicago and the 1981 film Thief, starring James Caan. Willie's impressive discography includes recordings with legends like Koko Taylor, Mighty Joe Young, The Temptations, and Muddy Waters. His passion and charming personality made him one of the most sought-after drummers in the industry. Known for his hard-driving style and his feel, as famously noted by Albert Collins, Willie's nickname "The Touch" aptly captured his finesse. Willie passed away from injuries sustained in an auto accident in November 2023. His music and legacy will always resonate with fans and fellow musicians alike.