Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Joe Williams (jazz singer)
He was born Joseph Goreed Williams in Cordele, Georgia and moved to Chicago as a child. He was raised by his mother and grandmother. He grew on the south side of Chicago, surrounded by jazz, blues, and gospel music. In the 1930s, as a teenager, he was a member of "The Jubilee Boys" and performed in Chicago churches.
He worked as a singer and bouncer in Chicago in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1943, he was hired by the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He toured with Hampton for several years but never achieved breakthrough success.
After leaving the Basie band, Williams continued to have a successful career working with his own jazz combo. He and Basie remained on good terms and he would regularly appear with the band.
Williams enjoyed a successful career and worked regularly until his death. He died at age 80, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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