Walter “Wolfman” Washington, a blues guitarist who eventually became a New Orleans music legend, died days after his 79th birthday.
The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported that Washington died on Dec. 22 at Passages Hospice. The publication noted that the cause of death of Walter Washington was cancer.
Although she did not reveal the exact type of cancer she was battling, it was noted that she was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in March.
According to Cedars Sinai’s official website, the throat has three types of tonsils; but most tonsil cancers start in the palatine tonsils, located on the side of the throat. He explains that most men are diagnosed with the dreaded disease three to four times more often than women.
Tobacco and alcohol consumption are the most important risk factors for developing tonsil cancer. Among its symptoms are severe pain in the ears, pain when swallowing, bad breath, pain in the mouth, blood in the saliva, sore throat, and intolerance to drinks and citrus fruits, blood in the saliva, etc.
Despite his cancer diagnosis, Washington continued to perform at festivals and events while undergoing radiation and chemotherapy. He still managed to play at the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earlier this year before his final performance at the Bogalusa Blues Festival on September 29th.
The funeral is scheduled for January 4 at 2 p.m. at Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home. There will also be a benefit concert on January 8 at Tipitina’s Music Hall to help his family with medical and funeral expenses.
Walter Washington receives heartwarming tribute after his death
After learning of Washington’s death, fans immediately expressed their dismay online and paid tribute to the late music icon.
“I grew up listening to blues records,” said one. “You used to listen to blues records walking up and down the street in my neighborhood. But I didn’t really understand the blues until I saw Walter Washington sing and play his guitar at Dorothy’s Medallion Lounge. #RIP.”
Walter Washington was a great musician and wonderful human being. He always brought the funk. RIP
— robert cataliotti (@bobsjazz1) December 24, 2022
Washington began his career playing in Lee Dorsey’s band during his teenage years. He eventually started his own band, the All Fools Band, in the mid-1960s.
The guitarist worked with other acts, including the band of his 20-year collaborator, Johnny Adams, before making his solo debut with 1981’s “Rainin’ In My Life.”
He went on to release more albums including “Howlin’s LIVE at DBA New Orleans”, “Blue Moon Risin'”, “On the Prowl”, “Doin’ the Funky Thing”, “My Future Is My Past” and “Funk is in The house.”