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Big Joe Williams

Biography

Big Joe Williams might have been probably the most cantankerous individual who ever walked the planet earth with guitar at hand. At exactly the same time, he was an unbelievable blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceedingly idiosyncratic guitarist. Despite his deserved popularity being a fighter (noted in Michael Bloomfield’s bizarre booklet Me and Big Joe), performers who understood him well treated him being a reputed elder statesman. However, they may not need selected to play with him, because — much like other old Delta performers — in the event that you used him you performed by his guidelines. As protégé David “Honeyboy” Edwards referred to him, Williams in his early Delta times was a strolling musician who performed function camps, jukes, shop porches, roads, and alleys from New Orleans to Chicago. He documented through five years for Vocalion, OKeh, Paramount, Bluebird, Prestige, Delmark, and many more. Based on Charlie Musselwhite, he and Big Joe kicked from the blues revival in Chicago within the ’60s. When showing up at Mike Bloomfield’s “blues night time” in the Fickle Pickle, Williams performed a power nine-string acoustic guitar through a little ramshackle amp having a pie dish nailed to it along with a ale can dangling against that. When he performed, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The full total aftereffect of this amazing apparatus produced probably the most humming, sizzling, African-sounding music you might likely ever listen to. Anyone who would like to find out Delta blues must 1 day arrive at grips with the theory that your guitar is really a drum and a melody-producing device. A continuing, African-derived musical custom emphasizing percussive methods on stringed devices from your banjo to your guitar can be noticed within the music of Delta stalwarts Charley Patton, Fred McDowell, and Bukka White colored. Each used decidedly percussive methods, defeating on his package, knocking around the throat, snapping the strings, or adding humming or sizzling results to augment the instrument’s percussive potential. Nevertheless, Big Joe Williams, a lot more than any other main recording musician, embodied the idea of guitar-as-drum, bashing out an unbelievable group of riffs on his G-tuned nine-string for over 60 years.

Quick Facts


Full Name Big Joe Wiliams
Died December 17, 1982, Macon, Mississippi, United States
Profession Singer, Songwriter
Nationality American
Music Songs Baby Please Don't Go, Crawling King Snake, Highway 49, Shake Your Boogie, Sloppy Drunk Blues, I'm Getting Wild About Her, Somebody's Been Borrowing That Stuff, Sinking Blues, Sugar Mama, Worried Man Blues, Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out, Stepfather Blues, King Biscuit Stomp, Bye Bye Baby Blues, Walking Blues, Brother James, She Left Me A Mule To Ride, My Grey Pony, Army Man In Vietnam, I Won't Be In Hard Luck No More, Low Down Dirty Shame, Hand Me Down My Old Walking Stick, Don't Want No Big Fat Woman, Don't Leave Me Here, Little Leg Woman, 44 Blues, Sugar Diabetes Blues, I'm A Highway Man, Providence Help The Poor People, 49 Highway Blues, Put On Your Nitecap Baby, Peach Orchard Mama
Albums Blues on Highway 49, Piney Woods Blues, Nine String Guitar Blues, At Folk City, Down South Summit Meeting, Going Back to Crawford, Back To The Country, Malvina My Sweet Woman, The Sonet Blues Story, Mississippi's Big Joe Williams and His Nine-String Guitar, Po' Joe, Williams, Joe: Joe Williams and Friends, June 1985 - I Just Want To Sing, Blues Masters Volume 6 (Big Joe Williams), The Best Of, Every Day: The Best Of The Verve Years, The Ultimate Jazz Archive 42 - Vocalists - 1946 - 55 (3 Of 4), Live On The South Side 63, Joe Williams 1935-1945: The Giant of the 9 Strings Guitar (Blues Collection Historic Recordings), Big Joe Williams Revisited, Have Mercy!, Big Joe Williams Sings The Blues, Big Joe Williams Greatest Hits, Big Joe Williams, His Spirit Lives On, Watergate Blues, Absolutely The Best: Big Joe Williams, Absolutely the Best, Sugar Mama, Big Joe Williams - Baby Please Do, Sings About You/Sentimental And Melancholy, Greated Hits Live, Rootin' Ground Hog, The Blues, Blues On Highway 49 (Remastered 2017), Songs About That Kind of Woman, A Man Ain't Supposed to Cry, Jazz 'Round Midnight: Joe Williams, Baby Please Don't Go (The Best of), Chains of Love (Remastered), Blues Masters Vol. 2, Some Day Baby (1935 - 1949), Black, Brown & Beige, Original Jazz Sound: Everyday I Have the Blues, Down And Out, Big Joe Williams And The Stars Of Mississippi Blues, Memories Ad Lib / Breakfast Dance and Barbecue / Basie Eckstine Incorporated, The Gold Standard Series, Jazz, Big Band & Swing Classics - Big Joe Williams, Live In Las Vegas, Classic Delta Blues, Stack O' Dollars, Blues Bash (Digitally Remastered)
Movies The American Folk-Blues Festival: The British Tours 1963-1966, Buck Clayton All Stars: Brussels 1961 & London 1965


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Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Buttercup Project 2010 Short writer: "Baby Please Don't Go"
The Perfect Age of Rock 'n' Roll 2009 performer: "Baby Please Don't Go" / writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joseph Lee Williams
Otis 2008 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joseph Lee Williams
American Masters 2005 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Poor White Trash 2000 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go"
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 1995 TV Movie writer: "Baby, Please Don't Go"
Drop Zone 1994 as Joe Williams, "Baby Please Don't Go"
Blue Chips 1994 as Joe Williams, "Baby, Please Don't Go"
Wild at Heart 1990 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joe Williams
Heart Condition 1990 lyrics: "Baby Please Don't Go" / music: "Baby Please Don't Go"
She's Out of Control 1989 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joe Williams
Good Morning, Vietnam 1987 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joe Williams
Countdown 1974 TV Series writer - 2 episodes
Out of Sight 1966 writer: "Baby, Please Don't Go" - as Joe Williams
Shindig! 1965 TV Series writer - 3 episodes
Hollywood a Go Go 1965 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Passage to Mars 2016 Documentary writer: "Baby Please Don't Go"
I Am Not Your Negro 2016 Documentary writer: "Baby, Please Don't Go" - as J. Williams
Friday Night Football 2015 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Focus 2015/II writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joseph Lee Williams
Nightmare Code 2014 writer: "Baby Please Don't Go" - as Joseph Lee Williams
Archer 2014 TV Series writer - 1 episode
Metal Evolution 2011 TV Series documentary writer - 1 episode
Treme TV Series performer - 1 episode, 2011 writer - 1 episode, 2011

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Count Basie at Carnegie Hall 1981 TV Movie Himself (as Joe Williams)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Blues Odyssey 2001 TV Movie documentary Himself

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