Eighteen-year-old Little Willie John (1937-1968) didn’t want to record ‘Fever’ when the song was presented to him in 1956, according to King Records producer Henry Glover, but Glover persisted and John’s career got its biggest boost when ‘Fever’ stayed on the R&B charts for 23 weeks that year. The sensual blues composition by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell (who used the pen name John Davenport because he was under songwriting contract to another company) later became the signature torch song of Peggy Lee, who added some lyrics to her 1958 hit recording. ‘Fever’ has crossed many genres in its subsequent cover versions by Elvis Presley, Beyonce, Madonna, The Doors, James Brown, Sarah Vaughan, Bette Midler, and Toots & the Maytals, and many others. Little Willie John’s rendition was cut at the King studios in Cincinnati on April 1, 1956, in the company of such stellar sidemen as guitarist Bill Jennings and pianist Jon Thomas.