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Clarence Williams

Although he was quite spirited taking part in jug, Clarence Williams was only a good pianist and a likable but limited vocalist. Nevertheless, he was also a talented composer, composing or co-writing dozens, of unforgettable music like “Royal Backyard Blues,” “MANY PEOPLE REALLY LIKE My Baby,” “Western world End Blues,” “Glucose Blues,” “Tain’t Nobody’s Business EASILY Perform,” and “Baby Won’t You Make sure you GET BACK,” and he was also a masterful organizer, in charge of scores of scorching recordings released under his name in the 1920s and ’30s. An excellent businessman and an inventive hustler, Williams proved helpful at all sorts of unusual careers in New Orleans, where he transferred in 1906. He performed piano in Storyville, keeping aware of the most recent hits from NY; he was a vocalist, dancer, and emcee using a minstrel present, and went his very own cabaret. He also co-ran a little posting firm with Armand J. Piron and shortly understood its potential. Williams transferred initially to Chicago, where he went a music shop, and to NY, where he previously great success along with his posting house. He constructed songs, come up with all-star groupings to record them, and was also involved with offering sheet music of his strikes; each activity helped others. Williams maintained some artists privately, including Bessie Smith (whom he helped begin) for a short time. Beginning in 1923, he was also an A&R guy for Okeh Information, and frequently followed blues singers. A remarkable figure and perhaps one of the most effective black businessmen from the period, Clarence Williams acquired a real ear canal for skill. Among the greater notable traditional jazz music artists who made an appearance on his information (a lot of which were released to be by his Blue Five or Blue Seven) had been soprano saxophonist Sidney Bechet; trumpeters Louis Armstrong, Joe Smith, Bubber Miley, Tommy Ladnier, Louis Metcalf, Ruler Oliver, Crimson Allen, and Ed Allen; trombonists Charles Irvis, Tricky Sam Nanton, and Jimmy Harrison; clarinetists Buster Bailey and Cecil Scott; flutist Albert Socarras; tenors Coleman Hawkins and Benny Waters; Cyrus St. Clair on tuba; drummer/washboard participant Floyd Casey; pianists Wayne P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith; and Eva Taylor (whom he wedded in 1923) on vocals. Quite amazingly, most of Clarence Williams’ recordings like a leader have already been made available from the Classics label on 14 CDs. In the elevation of his power in the first ’30s, Clarence Williams’ importance waned as the 10 years continued and golf swing required over. After 1937, he just appeared using one last session (two tunes in 1941), focusing on the business part of music. In 1943, he offered his organization to Decca and became a store owner in Harlem. Williams was significantly injured when strike with a taxi cab in 1956 and passed on in 1965. The 1976 bio-discography Clarence Williams by Tom Lord provides one a concept of his many achievements.

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