8 October 1893, Plaquemine, Louisiana, USA, d. 6 November 1965, New York City, New York, USA. Although Williams first made his mark as a pianist, singer and dancer, it was as a composer, record producer, music publisher and entrepreneur that he made a lasting impact on jazz. Before he was in his teens he had decided upon a career in showbusiness and had run away from home to work with a travelling minstrel show. By the time he was 21 he had started composing, formed his first publishing company, and was married to blues singer Eva Taylor. His early associates, as performers and/or in business, included Armand Piron and W.C. Handy. First in New Orleans, then Chicago and finally in New York City, Williams established himself as a successful publisher, an energetic record producer and a tireless accompanist to some of the finest jazz and blues artists of the day. Among Williams most notable recording sessions are those on which he was joined by Louis Armstrong...