Mary Lou Williams
|Tags:||jazz piano jazz piano blues women in jazz|
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
Mary Elfrieda Scruggs, 8 May 1910, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, d. 28 May 1981, Durham, North Carolina, USA. A child prodigy, Williams played in public at the age of six and by the time she reached her teenage years was already a seasoned professional piano player. At the age of 16 she married saxophonist John Williams, playing in his band throughout the Midwest. When her husband left to join Terrence Holders band, Mary Lou took over the leadership of the band before eventually she too joined Holder. After this band had metamorphosed into Andy Kirk and his Clouds Of Joy, Williams assumed additional responsibilities as the groups chief arranger. During the 30s, while still with Kirk, her arrangements were also used by Earl Fatha Hines, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong and Benny Goodman, who had a hit with her composition Roll Em. After her marriage to John Williams ended, she married Harold Shorty Baker and co-led a band...