Google+ Followers

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Larry Williams born 10 May 1935

Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Williams (May 10, 1935 – January 7, 1980) was an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist from New Orleans, Louisiana. 
Williams learned how to play piano at a young age. The family moved to Oakland, California when he was a teen, and there he joined the Lemon Drops, a R&B group. Williams returned to New Orleans in 1954 and began working as Lloyd Price's valet and played in the bands of Price, Roy Brown and Percy Mayfield.

In 1955, Williams met and developed a friendship with Little Richard, who was recording at the time in New Orleans. Price and Penniman were both recording for Specialty Records. Williams was introduced to Specialty's house producer, Robert Blackwell, and was signed to record. 
In 1957, Little Richard was Specialty's biggest star, but bolted from rock and roll to pursue the ministry. Williams was quickly groomed by Blackwell to try to replicate his success. Using the same raw, shouting vocals and piano-driven intensity, Williams scored with a number of hit singles. 

Williams' three biggest successes were "Short Fat Fannie", which was his biggest seller, reaching #5 in Billboard's pop chart, "Bony Moronie", which peaked at #14, and its flip "You Bug Me Baby" which made it to #45. "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" charted at #69 on Billboard the following year. Both "Short Fat Fannie" and "Bony Moronie" sold over one million copies, gaining gold discs. 

Photo of Alan Freed, Larry Williams, Dee Jay Ben Dacosta, Buddy Holly. 

After 1957 Williams did not have much success selling records. He recorded a number of songs in 1958 and 1959, including "Heebie Jeebies", with band members such as Plas Johnson on tenor sax and Jewel Grant on baritone, Rene Hall and Howard Roberts on guitars, Gerald Wilson on trumpet, Ernie Freeman or Williams himself on piano, and Earl Palmer on drums. He was convicted of dealing narcotics in 1960 and served a three-year jail term, setting back his career considerably. 
Williams made a comeback in the mid-1960s with a funky soul band that included Johnny "Guitar" Watson, which paired him musically with Little Richard who had been lured back into secular music. He produced two Little Richard albums for Okeh Records in 1966 and 1967, which returned Little Richard to the Billboard album chart for the first time in ten years and spawned the hit single "Poor Dog".
He also acted as the music director for the Little Richard's live performances at the Okeh Club. Bookings for Little Richard during this period skyrocketed. Williams also recorded and released material of his own and with Watson, with some moderate chart success. This period may have garnered few hits but produced some of his best and most original work. 
In the 1970s, there was also a brief dalliance with disco, but Williams' wild lifestyle continued. By the middle of the decade, the drug abuse and violence were taking their toll. In 1977, Williams pulled a gun on and threatened to kill his long-time friend, Little Richard, over a drug debt. This, along with other factors, led to Little Richard's return to born again Christianity and the ministry, but Williams did not escape LA's seedy underworld. 

Williams died in his Los Angeles, California home of a gunshot wound to the head on January 7, 1980. He was 44 years old. The death was deemed suicide, though there was much speculation otherwise. No suspects were ever arrested or charged. (Info edited from Wikipedia)


boppinbob said...

For “Larry Williams – Bad Boy” go here:
01 Bony Moronie
02 She Said Yeah
03 Hocus Pocus [Alternate Take]
04 Lawdy Miss Clawdy
05 Just Because
06 Dizzy Miss Lizzy
07 Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu
08 High School Dance
09 Heeby-Heebies [Alternate Take]
10 Iko Iko [Alternate Take]
11 Short Fat Fannie
12 Zing Zing [Alternate Take]
13 Ting-A-Ling
14 Make A Little Love
15 Hootchy-Koo
16 Slow Down
17 You Bug Me, Baby
18 Oh Baby [Alternate Take]
19 Little School Girl
20 Bad Boy
21 Peaches And Cream
22 Marie, Marie [Alternate Take]
23 The Dummy

A big thank you to Jake @ Jukebox City for the link

Matt Chingduvé said...

'Bony Moronie' had such good drumming for that era. The original 45 sounds terrific!