Remembering Eddie Williams©2002JCMarion


Eddie Williams was the bass player for the ground breaking group Johnny Moore's Three Blazers during the mid and late forties. He was part of the trio when vocalist Charles Brown recorded "Drifting Blues" for the trio and became one of the biggest sellers in the post war years of Rhythm & Blues. In 1949 Brown left the group to follow his pursuits as a solo artist. Williams also left in 1949 and formed his own group which he called Eddie Williams & His Brown Buddies. The group was closely patterned after the Three Blazers with Floyd Dixon taking on the roll of pianist-vocalist with the combo. Along with Williams and Dixon, the other members of the group were Mitchell "Tiny" Webb on guitar and Ellis Walsh on drums.

In 1949 "Blues In Cuba" and "Houston Jump" were released on Supreme Records #1528. "Cuba" is a good seller in New Orleans and Houston, Texas. Later in the year "Red Head 'n Cadillac" and "Broken Hearted" were issued on Supreme #1535. "Mississippi" and "Saturday Night Fish Fry" (later covered with great success by Louis Jordan) were released on Supreme #1542. The last recording of the year for the combo was on Supreme #1546 with the tunes "Prairie Dog Hole" and "You Need Me Now". In 1950 Eddie Williams & His Brown Buddies recorded "I Saw Stars" and "Worries" on Supreme #1547. In March the group is picked to appear at the big Easter Promenade Show sponsored by the Los Angeles Sentinel, a free to the public celebration of the Black Community in the greater L.A. area. "The Umbrella Song" and "Johnny Katherine" are recorded for Supreme Records #1548.

In May as the group readies a long stay at Los Angeles Waikiki Inn, personnel changes affect the group. Floyd Dixon leaves to go out on his own and is replaced by piano playing vocalist Lester Myrat. Webb is replaced by another guitarist named Edgar Rice. The new lineup goes into the recording studio for a new label, the independent Selective Records label. The new record is released in June on #121 - "Right Now" and "Unfaithful Woman". Two months later the trio is in the recording studio for another small independent label, this time it is Discovery Records. They spend part of the time backing up vocalist Claude "Mighty Man" Maxwell on his version of the Leadbelly tune "Good Night Irene". Williams and his group do a re-recording of their former hit tune "Blues For Cuba". The flip side of the record is "Wandering" on Discovery #526.

In September of that year, Williams and his trio continue their independent record label odyssey by recording a session for Crystal Records in L.A. By this time Claude Maxwell has become a permanent member of the group and takes over much of the vocals from Lester Myrat. Crystal #303 is released - "Your Papa Is A Soldier Again" and "Tingle Kissing Daddy" in October. The next month another release for Crystal - #304 is issued with the songs "Sweet Pea" and "I'm Singing The Blues Tonight". Eddie Williams & His Brown Buddies settle in for a long engagement in, of all places, Pocatello, Idaho. In November Lester Myrat leaves the trio to start his own group. In March of 1951 Swing Time Records buys some masters recorded for the Supreme label and re-releases "Houston Jump" and "Broken Hearted" on #261, and the next month "You Need Me Now" and "Worries" on Swing Time #287.

Late in 1951, Eddie Williams breaks up his small group and rejoins Floyd Dixon as part of Dixon's combo. Roy Hayes is on guitar and Monk McFay is on drums in the new Floyd Dixon group. In May of 1952 the Dixon group records for Aladdin on #3135 - "Call Operator 210" and "Wine Wine Wine" and #3151 - "Tired, Broke, And Busted" and "Come Back Baby". One more session is done in July of that year for Aladdin with the tunes "The River" (a cover of Little Caesar's hit) and "Red Cherries" on #3144.

Not much more is known of the recording career of Eddie Williams. Interestingly, his music survives on CDs of swing music, or CDs that purport to be of swing music. Some of these are "Swing-O-Rama Vol. 1", "Jukebox Swing (the best of Swing-O-Rama)", and "Swing Party" for Music Club. Williams is one more of those now obscure artists who were so much a part of the post war years inventing and formulating the music we now call rock & roll.

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