He was described by Allmusic journalist, Michael G. Nastos, as 'one of the
Midwest's true blues treasures'.
Warren was born in Stamps, Arkansas, but moved with his family at the age of
thirteen to Lake Village, Arkansas. He was taught by Caleb King to play the
guitar, and played in his own blues ensemble around the Mississippi Delta.
His band's singer, Guitar Slim was, in turn, taught guitar playing
techniques by Warren, and they toured around Louisiana in the latter half of
Warren relocated to Chicago by the early 1950s and joined Otis Rush's band.
He later played alongside Freddie King and Jimmy Reed, plus he also backed
Morris Pejoe, when Pejoe recorded tracks for Chess Records.
Warren formed the House Rockers back in Arkansas in 1959, and by the early
1970s had moved to Detroit to work and record with Bobo Jenkins. From 1974
to 1976 he was also a featured performer, along with Baby Boy Warren (no
relation), with the Progressive Blues Band, a popular blues band that played
in many of Detroit's best blues venues. When Baby Boy died in 1977, Wille D.
Warren took up the band's frontman duties.
In 1977, Warren finally recorded his debut solo album, which was released on
Jenkins' Big Star label. In addition, Warren turned songwriter, penning the
lyrics to two songs ('Door Lock Blues' and 'Detroit Jump') that Jenkins
himself recorded for his own Detroit All Purpose Blues album. Warren's own
work then appeared on a small number of compilation albums. His live album,
Live, for the No Cover Productions label, was not released until after
Warren's death. His then backing band, Mystery Train, included his old
friend Jim McCarty.
Warren died in Detroit, in December 2000, at the age of 76. He left one son,
Willie Hairston, of Detroit, Michigan.