He also … Willie was bar-mitzvahed in Newark at age thirteen, and later in life worked as a Hebrew cantor for a Black Jewish congregation in Harlem. Willie "the Lion" Smith was one of the greatest Harlem stride pianists, but was captured on disc relatively little in his prime. Willie 'The Lion' Smith was born on November 23, 1893 in Goshen, New York, USA as William Henry Joseph Berthol Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith. William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (November 25, 1897 – April 18, 1973), also known as "The Lion", was an American jazz pianist and one of the masters of the stride style, usually grouped with James P. Johnson and Thomas "Fats" Waller as the three greatest practitioners of the genre in its golden age, from about 1920 to 1943. Willie the Lion Smith: Willie Smith / Willie "The Lion" Smith: Primary Artist, Composer : Two Man Job: Danny Coots / Brian Holland: Composer : This Land Abounds With Life: Fabian Almazan Trio: Composer : The Original 14 Plus Two: Willie "The Lion" Smith: Primary Artist, Piano Smith served in World War I, where he saw action in France, and played drum with the African-American regimental band led by Tim Brymn. Willie the Lion Smith was a pianist who stood at the center of the New York City jazz world in the roaring 1920s. He performed at the most fashionable nightclubs in New York City's predominantly African-American Harlem neighborhood, accompanied other musicians on recordings, and inspired and mentored a host of younger musicians. Willie "The Lion" Smith, Don Ewell - Grand Piano - Virtuoso Duets By Willie (The Lion) Smith & Don Ewell (Album) 7 versions : Swaggie Records, Swaggie Records: … Biography: Willie “The Lion” Smith. Find Willie "The Lion" Smith bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic - Irrepressible raconteur, indelible stylist, and… He died on April 18, 1973 in New York City, New York. Trivia (5) Jazz musician. William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith Pianist, Bandleader, Composer (1897 - 1973) The colored dots show the fastest links . Willie the Lion Smith lived long enough to be considered a walking legend. He was recorded far more extensively in the 1960s, by which time he was in decline. Inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1987. Willie "The Lion" Smith lived through six decades of music and, despite the changes in musical styles over those years, remained true to himself and his style. Willie "The Lion" Smith : biography 23 November 1893 – 18 April 1973 By the early 1910s he was playing in New York City and Atlantic City, New Jersey. In his later years he received frequent honors for his life's work including a Willie "The Lion" Smith Day in Newark, New Jersey. William Henry Joseph Bonaparte Bertholoff Smith (23 November 18931 18 April 1973), aka "The Lion", was a Jewish American jazz pianist and one of the masters of the stride style, usually grouped with James P. Johnson, and Thomas "Fats" Waller as the three greatest practitioners of the genre from its Golden Age, c 1920 - 1943.