Johnny Williams

Johnny Williams

Real Name:
John Williams, Jr.
Profile:
Born: March 13, 1908 in Memphis, Tennessee
Died: October 23, 1998 in New York City, New York

American double bass player.
For the arranger, conductor and composer consider John Williams (4) also credited as Johnny Williams.

He first learned violin, but disliked the instrument and instead took up tuba while in high school. During the early 1930s he played tuba, then double bass, in southern territory bands. In 1936 he moved to New York, where he took part in several recording sessions with Henry "Red" Allen (1936-7), played with the Mills Blue Rhythm Band (1937-8), recorded with Buster Bailey (December 1938), and worked briefly with Benny Carter. In 1939 he made the first of several recordings with Billie Holiday (to 1942, under the leadership of Holiday or Teddy Wilson), played with Frankie Newton at the downtown location of Café Society, recorded with Harry James, James P. Johnson, J. C. Higginbotham, the Port of Harlem Jazzmen, the Port of Harlem Seven, Newton, and Sidney Bechet, and joined Coleman Hawkin’s band. After leaving Hawkins the following year Williams played with Louis Armstrong until 1941. In summer 1941 he joined Wilson’s sextet (for illustration see Wilson, Teddy), with which he appeared in the film short "Boogie Woogie Dream" (1941). He recorded with his fellow sideman Edmond Hall in January 1944 and remained at Café Society under Hall’s leadership when Wilson disbanded in May 1944. During these years he was occasionally reunited with Armstrong, most notably at a concert involving Hall’s band at Carnegie Hall in February 1947. When Hall disbanded in mid-June 1947, Williams joined Tab Smith at the Savoy Ballroom (to 1952) and Johnny Hodges (c1952-1955). He then ceased working as a full-time musician, but in 1968 he traveled to France with Buddy Tate, and in the 1970s he worked frequently with Red Richards. He also toured with Bob Greene’s concert troupe, the World of Jelly Roll Morton, from 1978 to 1982, and with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band from 1978 until June 1998, when a stroke ended his career.
In Groups:
Variations:

Johnny Williams Discography

Vocals

Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong - At The Carnegie Hall (Album) Joker (2), Archive Of Jazz Italy 1974 Sell This Version
SSTC07302 Various It's Only A Paper Moon Various - Those Sentimental Years(3xCD, Comp) Reader's Digest SSTC07302 US 2009 Sell This Version
30 JA 5102 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong - The Immortal Live Sessions 1944/1947(LP, Comp) Musidisc 30 JA 5102 France Unknown Sell This Version
DK 29016 Louis Armstrong Louis Armstrong - Greatest Hits(3xLP, Comp + Box) Delta Music DK 29016 Germany Unknown Sell This Version

Instruments & Performance

The Raymond Scott Quintette* The Raymond Scott Quintette* - The Toy Trumpet / Powerhouse Master (2) US 1937 Sell This Version
M 8000 The Raymond Scott Quintette* The Raymond Scott Quintette* - Dinner Music For A Pack Of Hungry Cannibals / Reckless Night On Board An Ocean Liner(Shellac, 10") Brunswick M 8000 US 1937 Sell This Version
6 The Port Of Harlem Seven, Sidney Bechet Quintet Pounding Heart Blues and 1 more… The Port Of Harlem Seven, Sidney Bechet Quintet - Pounding Heart Blues / Summertime(Shellac, 12") Blue Note 6 US 1939 Sell This Version
J.C. Higginbotham Quintet / Frank Newton Quintet Weary Land Blues (as John Williams) and 1 more… J.C. Higginbotham Quintet / Frank Newton Quintet - Weary Land Blues / Daybreak Blues Blue Note US 1939 Sell This Version
The Port Of Harlem Seven, J.C. Higginbotham Quintet Basin Street Blues and 1 more… The Port Of Harlem Seven, J.C. Higginbotham Quintet - Blues For Tommy / Basin Street Blues Blue Note US 1939 Sell This Version
Harry James (2) And The Boogie Woogie Trio Harry James (2) And The Boogie Woogie Trio - Home James / Jesse Brunswick US 1939 Sell This Version
Port Of Harlem Jazz Men* Port Of Harlem Jazz Men* - Mighty Blues Blue Note US 1939 Sell This Version
Harry James (2) And The Boogie Woogie Trio Harry James (2) And The Boogie Woogie Trio - Boo-Woo / Woo-Woo Brunswick Netherlands 1939 Sell This Version
14 Port Of Harlem Jazz Men* / Frank Newton Quintet Port Of Harlem Blues (as John Williams) and 1 more… Port Of Harlem Jazz Men* / Frank Newton Quintet - Port Of Harlem Blues / After Hour Blues(Shellac, 12") Blue Note 14 US 1939 Sell This Version
4631 Billie Holiday And Her Orchestra Billie Holiday And Her Orchestra - That's All I Ask Of You / Dream Of Life(Shellac, 10") Vocalion (2) 4631 US 1939 Sell This Version
B-10693 Coleman Hawkins' All Star Octet Coleman Hawkins' All Star Octet - When Day Is Done / Bouncing With Bean(Shellac, 10") Bluebird (3) B-10693 US 1940 Sell This Version
B-10770 Coleman Hawkins' All Star Octet Coleman Hawkins' All Star Octet - The Sheik Of Araby / My Blue Heaven (Shellac, 10") Bluebird (3) B-10770 US 1940 Sell This Version
C-44 Various Woo-Woo and 1 more… Various - Boogie Woogie(4xShellac, 10", Album, Comp) Columbia C-44 US 1941 Sell This Version
30 Edmond Hall's All Star Quintet Edmond Hall's All Star Quintet - Rompin' In ’44 / Smooth Sailing (Shellac, 12") Blue Note 30 US 1944 Sell This Version
317 Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra / Jimmie Lunceford And His Orchestra Prisoner Of Love Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra / Jimmie Lunceford And His Orchestra - Prisoner Of Love / I'm In An Awful Mood(12") V Disc 317 US 1944 Sell This Version
36737 Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra - Out Of Nowhere / You're My Favorite Memory(Shellac, 10") Columbia 36737 US 1944 Sell This Version
Josh White With Edmond Hall And His Orchestra Josh White With Edmond Hall And His Orchestra - Left A Good Deal In Mobile / Did You Ever Love A Woman Decca US 1945 Sell This Version
CR-2 Billie Holiday Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday(4xShellac, 10", Album, Comp) Commodore CR-2 US 1947 Sell This Version
Billie Holiday Billie Holiday - Them There Eyes / Body And Soul Columbia US 1947 Sell This Version
Billie Holiday Billie Holiday - Gloomy Sunday / Night And Day Columbia France 1947 Sell This Version
c-135, C 135 Billie Holiday (It Will Have To Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along and 1 more… Billie Holiday - Billie Holiday Vol. 1(4xShellac, 10", Album) Columbia, Columbia c-135, C 135 US 1947 Sell This Version