Mary Lou Williams

Genres: Blues Jazz Jazz Music Videos & Concerts
Tags: jazz piano jazz piano blues women in jazz Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
Links: discogs


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 Holder’s 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 group’s 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...

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