Clarence Williams

Profilo:
American jazz pianist, composer, promoter, vocalist, theatrical producer, and publisher
Born 8 October 1898 in Plaquemine, Louisiana
Died 6 November 1965 in Queens, New York City

Williams ran away from home at age 12 to join Billy Kersand's Traveling Minstrel Show, then moved to New Orleans. At first Williams worked shining shoes and doing odd jobs, but soon became known as a singer and master of ceremonies. By the early 1910s he was a well regarded local entertainer also playing piano, and was composing new tunes by 1913. Williams was a good business man and worked arranging and managing entertainment at the local African-American vaudeville theater as well as various saloons and dance halls around Rampart Street, and clubs and houses in Storyville.

Williams started a music publishing business with violinist/bandleader Armand J. Piron 1915, which by the 1920s was the leading African-American owned music publisher in the country. He toured briefly with W.C. Handy, set up a publishing office in Chicago, then settled in New York in the early 1920s. In 1921, he married blues singer and stage actress Eva Taylor with whom he would frequently perform. He supervised African-American recordings (the 8000 Race Series) for New York offices of Okeh phonograph company in the 1920s in the Gaiety Theatre office building in Times Square. He recruited many of the artists who performed on that label. He also recorded extensively, leading studio bands frequently for OKeh, Columbia and occasionally other record labels.

He mostly used "Clarence Williams' Jazz Kings" for his hot band sides and "Clarence Williams' Washboard Five" for his washboard sides. He also produced and participated in early recordings by Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Bessie Smith, Virginia Liston, Irene Scruggs, and many others. King Oliver played cornet on a number of Williams' late 1920s recordings. He was the recording director for the short-lived QRS Records label in 1928.

Most of his recordings were songs from his publishing house, which explains why he recorded tunes like "Baby Won't You Please Come Home", "Close Fit Blues" and "Papa De-Da-Da" numerous times.

In 1933, he signed to the Vocalion label and recorded quite a number of popular recordings, mostly featuring washboard percussion, through 1935.

In 1943 Williams sold his extensive back-catalogue of tunes to Decca Records for $50,000 and retired, but then bought a bargain used goods store. Williams died in Queens, New York City in 1965 and was interred in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York. On her death in 1977, his wife was interred next to him. Their grandson is Clarence Williams III.

Clarence Williams' name appears as composer or co-composer on numerous tunes, including a number which by Williams' own admission were written by others but which Williams bought all rights to outright, as was a common practice in the music publishing business at the time. Clarence Williams hits include "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate" (as publisher - not composer), "Baby Won't You Please Come Home", "Royal Garden Blues", "Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do", "Shout, Sister, Shout" and many others. In 1970, Williams was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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Albums

BYG 34 Clarence Williams - 1928-29 artwork dell'album Clarence Williams 1928-29(LP, Mono) BYG Records BYG 34 Italy 1972 Vendi questa versione
vilcd 010-2 Clarence Williams - Clarence Williams 1928, Jazz Archives No. 10 artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Clarence Williams 1928, Jazz Archives No. 10(CD, Mono) Village vilcd 010-2 Germany Unknown Vendi questa versione
NLP-3002 Clarence Williams - Volume Two artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Volume Two(LP) Natchez Records NLP-3002 Unknown Vendi questa versione

Singles & EPs

8027 Clarence Williams - Brown Skin (Who You For) / If You Don't Want Me (Please Don't Dog Me 'Round) artwork dell'album Daisy Martin, Clarence Williams Daisy Martin, Clarence Williams - Brown Skin (Who You For) / If You Don't Want Me (Please Don't Dog Me 'Round)(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8027 US 1921 Vendi questa versione
8021 Clarence Williams - Jump Steady Blues / Roumania artwork dell'album Brown And Terry Jazzola Boys / Clarence Williams Brown And Terry Jazzola Boys / Clarence Williams - Jump Steady Blues / Roumania(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8021 US 1921 Vendi questa versione
8020 Clarence Williams - Pullman Porter Blues / If You Don't Believe I Love You, Look What A Fool I've Been artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Pullman Porter Blues / If You Don't Believe I Love You, Look What A Fool I've Been(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8020 US 1922 Vendi questa versione
5005 Clarence Williams - Decatur Street Blues / Caterpilar Wabble artwork dell'album Clarence Williams / Chappelle* - Stinnette* Clarence Williams / Chappelle* - Stinnette* - Decatur Street Blues / Caterpilar Wabble(Shellac, 10") Chappelle And Stinnette Record 5005 US 1922 Vendi questa versione
4893 Clarence Williams - Mixing The Blues / The Weary Blues artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Mixing The Blues / The Weary Blues(Shellac, 10") Okeh 4893 US 1923 Vendi questa versione
8067 Clarence Williams - Monkey Man Blues / Yodeling Blues artwork dell'album Sara Martin - Clarence Williams / Sara Martin - Eva Taylor Sara Martin - Clarence Williams / Sara Martin - Eva Taylor - Monkey Man Blues / Yodeling Blues(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8067 US 1923 Vendi questa versione
8108 Clarence Williams - Squabbling Blues / I'm Cert'ny Gonna See 'Bout That artwork dell'album Sara Martin - Clarence Williams Sara Martin - Clarence Williams - Squabbling Blues / I'm Cert'ny Gonna See 'Bout That(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8108 US 1923 Vendi questa versione
8183 Clarence Williams - Arkansaw Blues / Terrible Blues artwork dell'album Eva Taylor - Clarence Williams Eva Taylor - Clarence Williams - Arkansaw Blues / Terrible Blues(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8183 US 1925 Vendi questa versione
12435 Clarence Williams - Shut Your Mouth / What Do You Know About That artwork dell'album Joe Sims (2) And Clarence Williams Joe Sims (2) And Clarence Williams - Shut Your Mouth / What Do You Know About That(Shellac, 10") Paramount 12435 US 1927 Vendi questa versione
8604 Clarence Williams - Organ Grinder Blues / Wildflower Rag artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Organ Grinder Blues / Wildflower Rag Okeh 8604 US 1928 Vendi questa versione
14341-D Clarence Williams - Farm Hand Papa / My Woman Done Me Wrong (As Far As I'm Concerned) artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Farm Hand Papa / My Woman Done Me Wrong (As Far As I'm Concerned)(Shellac, 10") Columbia 14341-D US 1928 Vendi questa versione
8762 Clarence Williams - Monkey And The Baboon / Wipe It Off artwork dell'album Lonnie Johnson (2) And Clarence Williams Lonnie Johnson (2) And Clarence Williams - Monkey And The Baboon / Wipe It Off Okeh 8762 US 1930 Vendi questa versione
8775 Clarence Williams - The Dirty Dozen / She Don't Know Who She Wants artwork dell'album Lonnie Johnson (2) And Clarence Williams / Lonnie Johnson (2) Lonnie Johnson (2) And Clarence Williams / Lonnie Johnson (2) - The Dirty Dozen / She Don't Know Who She Wants(Shellac, 10") Okeh 8775 US 1930 Vendi questa versione
14502-D Clarence Williams - I've Found A New Baby / How Could I Be Blue artwork dell'album Jimmy Johnson* And Clarence Williams Jimmy Johnson* And Clarence Williams - I've Found A New Baby / How Could I Be Blue(Shellac, 10") Columbia 14502-D US 1930 Vendi questa versione
M 13328 Clarence Williams - Milk Cow Blues / Black Gal artwork dell'album Pinewood Tom, Clarence Williams Pinewood Tom, Clarence Williams - Milk Cow Blues / Black Gal Melotone M 13328 US 1935 Vendi questa versione
SCM 5134 Clarence Williams - High Society artwork dell'album Clarence Williams High Society(7", Single, Mono) Columbia SCM 5134 UK Unknown Vendi questa versione
JCS-33718 Clarence Williams - Blues, Rags & Stomps artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Blues, Rags & Stomps(7", EP) Swaggie Records JCS-33718 Australia Unknown Vendi questa versione
JCS-33751 Clarence Williams - Sarah Martin Accompanied By Clarence Williams artwork dell'album Sara Martin, Clarence Williams Sara Martin, Clarence Williams - Sarah Martin Accompanied By Clarence Williams(7", EP) Swaggie Records JCS-33751 Australia Unknown Vendi questa versione

Compilations

94 208, EPC 94 208, 94 208 EPC Clarence Williams - Clarence Williams - Jimmy Blythe 1927/1929 artwork dell'album Clarence Williams / Jimmy Blythe Clarence Williams / Jimmy Blythe - Clarence Williams - Jimmy Blythe 1927/1929(7", EP, Comp) Coral, Coral, Coral 94 208, EPC 94 208, 94 208 EPC Germany 1960 Vendi questa versione
none Clarence Williams - Untitled artwork dell'album Clarence Williams Untitled(LP, Comp) Not On Label none Switzerland 1966 Vendi questa versione
NLP-3001 Clarence Williams - 1926-1930 artwork dell'album Clarence Williams 1926-1930(LP, Album, Comp) Natchez Records NLP-3001 US 1969 Vendi questa versione
36 Clarence Williams - Bessie Brown, Ida G. And Clarence  artwork dell'album Bessie Brown, Ida G.* And Clarence* Bessie Brown, Ida G.* And Clarence* - Bessie Brown, Ida G. And Clarence (10", Comp) Ristic Records 36 UK 1970 Vendi questa versione