Obituary: Bluesman Big Walter Smith was 'rock of a performer'

  • Article by: CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 24, 2012 - 7:37 PM

The bandleader for the Groove Merchants, 82, schooled hundreds of musicians and helped spark Duluth's Bayfront festival.

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mohawk1953Jul. 25, 12 5:51 AM

I took my 4 yr old son to see him, and asked him afterwards what he thought. He said, "He's big, and he's Walter". Saw several shows over the years, many at Bayfront. He always fronted a real tight band. RIP Big Walter!!

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musicmommyJul. 25, 1210:07 PM

I'm so sorry. Such a great musician, and a class act!

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bluesfan55Jul. 25, 1211:16 PM

Big Walter - We're sooo sorry to hear that you've passed. You were and have always been a great musician and a great guy. We never missed you at Blues Fest and were looking forward to hearing you again. We will sooo miss you. When the Groove Merchants take the stage at the Fest, may you smile upon us and may your music live on always!

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skeptikJul. 26, 12 3:10 PM

Quality guy ,quality performer,quality BLUESMAN!!! Saw him many times over the years at the Cabooze and Junkyard (whiskey junction for those that don't know. If it's possible that there is someone that would not know) and various outdoor venues. NEVER,NEVER a bad show. Will miss this mainstay in the blues/entertainment industry.

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bethnatheJul. 27, 12 8:35 AM

Bummer We have had many great nights shaking our bootys to Big Walter Smith @ Whiskey Junction- Cabooze Bar and of course the Cedarfest we use to attend.. He will be missed. At least we have our CD'S we bought to remember and hear him from time to time. Much love to his wife. RIP Walter The Naught Nathe's

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mojosummerJul. 30, 12 6:48 PM

Big Walter Smith Your spirit will be with us at Bayfront always!

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blsfn2Aug. 1, 1211:34 PM

Shirley & Walter's band members & fellow fans, our hearts go out to you at this time of such great loss. My wife & I never missed BWS's Sat noon performance at Bayfront Bluesfest in Duluth, & also had the best time ever dancing to his music in sawdust at Jackpine Junction when it still existed in the northern pines. BFB will never be the same & we will always miss our biggest star.

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