Saturday, March 28, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Joe Williams
Song:Hallelujah I Love Her So
Album:Presenting Joe Williams and The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra
Joe Williams is one of the all time great jazz singers. He had the daunting task of replacing Jimmy Rushing in the Count Basie band and exceeded all expectations and went on to a long and distinguished career. He was born Joseph Goreed Dec. 12, 1918 in Cordele, GA and grew up in Chicago. His mom taught him piano, took him to concerts and church and as a teen had his own gospel group called The Jubillee Boys. He got his start in the late 30s singing with Jimmie Noone's band, Les Hite's band and he also sang with Coleman Hawkins and Lionel Hampton. Williams made his recording debut in the mid-40s with Andy Kirk & His Clouds Of Joy. His big break came in 1954 when he replaced Jimmy Rushing in Count Basie's band. Williams' recording of Every Day I Have The Blues reached #2 on the R & B charts in 1955. He made his solo recording debut in 1956 and left Basie in 1961. Over the years Williams worked with all the jazz greats. This 1966 album on the Solid State label teams Williams with the tremendous big band of Thad Jones & Mel Lewis. Blue Note released it on CD in 1994. It's a great album and worth checking out. The 70s were a bit dry for Williams but he boomed back in the 80s and won a Grammy for his 1984 album Nothin' But The Blues. He also had a recurring role as Grandpa Al on the 80s sitcom The Cosby Show. Of course Bill Cosby is a huge jazz fan. Joe Williams recorded for Verve & Telarc until his death on Mar. 29, 1999 at age 80s. Most jazz fans should be familiar with Joe Williams' sophisticated vocal style but for those who aren't, here's Joe Williams with the SS Norway Big Band performing his signiture song Every Day I Have The Blues in the mid-80s.