Tag Archives: Big Joe Williams

Bob Dylan Sings Big Joe Williams (born October 16, 1903)

The way I think about the blues, comes from what I learned from Big Joe Williams. The blues is more than something to sit home and arrange. What made the real blues singers so great is that they were able to state all the problems they had; but at the same time, they were standing outside of them and could look at them. And in that way, they had them beat. What’s depressing today is that many young singers are trying to get inside the blues, forgetting that those older singers used them to get outside their troubles.
-Bob Dylan (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan Liner Notes – 1963)

Joseph Lee “Big Joe” Williams (October 16, 1903 – December 17, 1982) was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded the songs “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Peach Orchard Mama”, among many others.

Continue reading Bob Dylan Sings Big Joe Williams (born October 16, 1903)

Today: The late Big Joe Williams was born in 1903, 110 years ago

big joe williams

Baby, please don’t go
Baby, please don’t go
Baby, please don’t go
Down to New Orleans
You know I love you so
Baby, please don’t go

“The way I think about the blues, comes from what I learned from Big Joe Williams.”
~Bob Dylan (“The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” Liner Notes)

From Wikipedia

Birth name Joseph Lee Williams
Born October 16, 1903
Crawford, Mississippi, United States
Died December 17, 1982 (aged 79)
Macon, Mississippi, United States
Genres Delta blues
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Labels Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige, Vocalion Records

Joseph Lee Williams (October 16, 1903 – December 17, 1982), billed throughout his career as Big Joe Williams, was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter,  notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded such songs as “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Peach Orchard Mama” for a variety of record labels, including Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige and Vocalion. Williams was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 1992.

Blues historian Barry Lee Pearson (Sounds Good to Me: The Bluesman’s StoryVirginia Piedmont Blues) attempted to document the gritty intensity of the Williams persona in this description:

“When I saw him playing at Mike Bloomfield’s “blues night” at the Fickle Pickle, Williams was playing an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. When he played, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music I have ever heard”.

 

Big Joe Williams may have been the most cantankerous human being who ever walked the earth with guitar in hand. At the same time, he was an incredible blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceptionally idiosyncratic guitarist. Despite his deserved reputation as a fighter (documented in Michael Bloomfield’s bizarre booklet Me and Big Joe), artists who knew him well treated him as a respected elder statesman. Even so, they may not have chosen to play with him, because — as with other older Delta artists — if you played with him you played by his rules.
~Barry Lee Pearson (allmusic.com)

big joe williams

Here are 2 great videos from youtube with BJW playing live:

Album of the day – The Very Best Of Big Joe Williams

the very best big joe williams

 

Other October 16

Continue reading Today: The late Big Joe Williams was born in 1903, 110 years ago

Today: The late Big Joe Williams was born in 1903 – 99 years ago

Baby, please don’t go
Baby, please don’t go
Baby, please don’t go
Down to New Orleans
You know I love you so
Baby, please don’t go

From Wikipedia

Birth name Joseph Lee Williams
Born October 16, 1903
Crawford, Mississippi, United States
Died December 17, 1982 (aged 79)
Macon, Mississippi, United States
Genres Delta blues
Occupations Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Labels Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige, Vocalion Records

Joseph Lee Williams (October 16, 1903 – December 17, 1982), billed throughout his career as Big Joe Williams, was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter,  notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded such songs as “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Crawlin’ King Snake” and “Peach Orchard Mama” for a variety of record labels, including Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige and Vocalion. Williams was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 1992.

Blues historian Barry Lee Pearson (Sounds Good to Me: The Bluesman’s StoryVirginia Piedmont Blues) attempted to document the gritty intensity of the Williams persona in this description:

“When I saw him playing at Mike Bloomfield’s “blues night” at the Fickle Pickle, Williams was playing an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. When he played, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music I have ever heard”.

From allmusic.com – Barry Lee Pearson

Big Joe Williams may have been the most cantankerous human being who ever walked the earth with guitar in hand. At the same time, he was an incredible blues musician: a gifted songwriter, a powerhouse vocalist, and an exceptionally idiosyncratic guitarist. Despite his deserved reputation as a fighter (documented in Michael Bloomfield‘s bizarre booklet Me and Big Joe), artists who knew him well treated him as a respected elder statesman. Even so, they may not have chosen to play with him, because — as with other older Delta artists — if you played with him you played by his rules.
….read more over @ allmusic.com 

Here are 2 great videos from youtube with BJW playing live:

Album of the day – The Very Best Of Big Joe Williams

 

Other October 16

Continue reading Today: The late Big Joe Williams was born in 1903 – 99 years ago