Connecticut-born Willy DeVille, real name William Borsey, was drawn to the Drifters and blues sounds of New York. Searching for like-minded players, he drove to San Francisco where he found the musicians who were to make up Mink DeVille, the group he led from 1974 to 1986. Returning to New York, they worked at CBGBs where they were spotted by Capitol Records who signed them and released two Jack Nitzsche-produced albums. The first of these yielded the hit single ‘Spanish Stroll’. Taking the group to record in Paris, Willy began a love affair with France and the rest of Europe where he became hugely popular. After six group albums, Willy worked under his solo name, producing “Miracle” in 1987 with Mark Knopfler, the 1990 New Orleans-recorded “Victory Mixture” and the fabulous “Backstreets Of Desire” in 1992. He died from pancreatic cancer in 2009.
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