Robert Pete Williams
|Decades:||1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Links:||discogs VIAF wikidata wikipedia|
14 March 1914, Zachary, Louisiana, USA, d. 31 December 1980, Rosedale, Louisiana, USA. Although he had been playing and singing blues since he was a young man, Williams first came to wider notice when he was recorded in 1958 by folklorist Harry Oster. At the time, Williams was serving a sentence for murder at the Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana. His sombre vocals and gentle, understated guitar accompaniments were impressive in themselves, but more significant was his unique ability to sing long, partially extemporized songs, sometimes based around a traditional formula, sometimes remarkably original and intensely personal. This exposure led to his being taken up by a younger audience, and on his release from prison he made many appearances at concerts and festivals in the USA and overseas. He also made many more records, most of which testify to his great creative imagination and artistry.