Ernest Pinky Williams

Born: Oct. 6, 1914 Tuscaloosa, AL

R&B, Jazz Saxophone Millinder, Freddie Mitchell

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

Bio by Eugene Chadbourne

Pinky Williams and Skippy Williams were brothers from Tuscaloosa, AL, who became professional reed players in jazz and R&B bands. In each case these were long, prolific careers, following a similar arc. Both started playing as teenagers and were already doing gigs by the end of the Roaring Twenties. The Tuscaloosa music scene unfortunately did not benefit from their activity since by then the family had relocated to Cleveland, where Pinky Williams died in 1996. This was just two years after Skippy Williams passed away; coincidentally, the latter was born two years after the former. Viewed consecutively the brothers spent about 120 years in the music business. Apollo Jump [2002 Collection]

lucky millinder apollo jumpListeners interested in meeting up with the pair on a single disc can take the Apollo Jump. This refers to a collection of material by bandleader Lucky Millinder recorded at New York City's Apollo Theater in the early '40s. At that time the Millinder band featured Pinky Williams playing primarily baritone and Skippy Williams on tenor, often credited as either Elmer or Elbert. Pinky Williams went on in the following decade to a tenure in what is possibly the finest band that pianist, singer, and songwriter Ray Charles ever had. The choicest sides from the Charles discography all feature Williams, including the marvelous Blues + Jazz equation. On the subject of musically satisfying addition, the sum total of the reed section from this Charles band is enough to make any R&B listener salivate. Hank Crawford, Freddie Mitchell, Joe Tillman, and Don Wilkerson all blew mightily through this gust of classic soul.


More info: Allmusic credits:


pinky williams albums

Amazon: Apollo Jump and Ray Charles Greatest Hits & More and The Earl Bostic Story

and Big Joe Turner All The Classic Hits 1938 - 1952 and Soul on Fire: Best of LaVern Baker

iTunes: Soul On Fire: The Best of LaVerne Baker - La Vern Baker and All the Classic Hits 1938 - 1952 - Big Joe Turner

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