Joe Lee Williams, 16 October 1903, Crawford, Mississippi, USA, d. 17 December 1982, Macon, Mississippi, USA. Big Joe Williams was one of the most important blues singers to have recorded and also one whose life conforms almost exactly to the stereotyped pattern of how a country blues singer should live. He was of partial Red Indian stock, his father being Red Bone Williams, a part-Cherokee. Big Joe took his musical influences from his mothers family, the Logans. He made the obligatory cigar box instruments as a child and took to the road when his stepfather threw him out around 1918. He later immortalized this antagonist in a song that he was still performing at the end of his long career. Williams life was one of constant movement as he worked his way around the lumber camps, turpentine farms and juke joints of the south, playing with the Birmingham Jug Band in 1929. Around 1930 he married and settled in...
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