Williams in 1997
Background information Joseph Goreed Born December 12, 1918 Cordele, Georgia, U.S. Died March 29, 1999 (aged 80) Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. Genres Jazz, blues, swing, traditional pop Singer Labels RCA Victor, Verve Lionel Hampton, Count Basie
Joe Williams (born Joseph Goreed; December 12, 1918 - March 29, 1999) was an American jazz singer. He sang with big bands such as the Count Basie Orchestra and the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, and also with his own combos. He sang in two films with the Basie orchestra, and sometimes worked as an actor.
Williams was born in
Cordele, Georgia, the son of Willie Goreed and Anne Beatrice née Gilbert. When he was about three, his mother and grandmother took him to Chicago. He grew up on the  South Side of Chicago, where he attended Austin Otis Sexton Elementary School and Englewood High School. In the 1930s, as a teenager, he was a member of a gospel group, the Jubilee Boys, and performed in Chicago churches.
He worked as a singer and
bouncer in Chicago in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He began singing professionally as a soloist in 1937. He sometimes sang with big bands: from 1937 he performed with Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra, and also toured with Les Hite in the Midwest. In 1941 he toured with  Coleman Hawkins to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1943 he performed in Boston with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. He toured with Hampton for several years but never achieved breakthrough success. He sang with  Red Saunders at the Club DeLisa in Chicago in 1945, and in 1946 was in New York with Andy Kirk. 
In the late 1940s Williams was ill and performed little. By October 1950 he was again at the Club DeLisa with Red Saunders, where
Count Basie heard him. 
From 1954 to 1961 he was the singer for the
Count Basie Orchestra. "  Every Day I Have the Blues", recorded in 1955, and " Alright, Okay, You Win" were among many successful recordings from this period.  
After leaving the Basie band, Williams had a successful career as a soloist at festivals, in clubs and on television.
He and Basie remained on good terms and he regularly appeared with the Basie orchestra. He toured and made recordings with many other musicians, including  Harry "Sweets" Edison in 1961-62, Junior Mance between 1962 and 1964, George Shearing in 1971, and Cannonball Adderley between 1973 and 1975. He went on a long tour from Egypt to India with Clark Terry in 1977, and toured Europe and the United States with Thad Jones and the Basie Orchestra in 1985. He also worked with his own combos, which between 1970 and 1990 usually included the pianist Norman Simmons, and often had Henry Johnson on guitar. 
Williams sang with the Basie orchestra in two films,
in 1957 and Jamboree in 1960. Cinderfella He sometimes worked as an actor, and in 1985 took the rôle of "Grandpa Al" Hanks in  Bill Cosby's popular . The Cosby Show Williams appeared several times on  in the 1980s and early 1990s.
In later life Williams often worked in hotels and clubs in
Las Vegas, but also sang at festivals and worked on cruise ships. He toured again with the Basie Orchestra, this time under the direction of Frank Foster, who had succeeded Thad Jones as leader of the band. Williams sang with the former Ellington Orchestra drummer Louie Bellson in Duke Ellington's jazz suite ; in about 1993 or 1994 he again toured with George Shearing. Black, Brown and Beige 
Williams worked regularly until his death in Las Vegas on March 29, 1999, at the age of 80.
Williams won the Best Jazz Vocal Performance
Grammy Award for his LP in 1984; Nothin' but the Blues it was also the winning Traditional Blues Album in the  Blues Music Awards of the Blues Foundation in the following year. Williams was nominated for seven other Grammy awards: for  Prez & Joe (1979); "8 to 5 I Lose" (1982); I Just Want To Sing (1986); Every Night: Live At Vine St. (1987); "I Won't Leave You Again" (with Lena Horne, 1988); " Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" (with Marlena Shaw, 1989); and In Good Company (1989). 
In 1988, Williams received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the prestigious
Berklee College of Music. 
In 1992, his 1955 recording of "Every Day I Have the Blues" with Basie was added to the
Grammy Hall of Fame for recordings of particular historical or qualitative importance.  Williams was added to the Jazz Wall of Fame of the  American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2001. 
In 1988, with his wife Jillean and friends, Williams set up the not-for-profit Joe Williams Every Day Foundation to offer scholarships to talented young musicians.
   
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Among the many recordings that Williams made are:
1946 10" shellac (78rpm) single: Decca 23959 (with the
Andy Kirk orchestra), Decca. 1950-1951 10" shellac (78rpm) singles: Columbia 30218, OKeh 6801, OKeh 6834, OKeh 6914, OKeh 6953, OKeh 7061 (with Red Saunders & His Orchestra) Columbia/OKeh.
Joe Williams Sings Everyday (with the Red Saunders band) 6 Parrot/Blue Lake masters from 1953, plus (with the King Kolax orchestra) 4 Chess/Checker masters from 1952. Regent/Savoy. 1955
, (the band: Emmett Berry-trumpet, Vic Dickenson-trombone, Marlowe Morris-organ, Bobby Henderson-piano, Aaron Bell-bass, Bobby Donaldson-drums), Vanguard. A Night at Count Basie's 1955
(with Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings Count Basie), Clef/Verve . 1956
[live] (with Count Basie and His Orchestra), Verve. Basie in London 1956
(with Count Basie and Metronome All-Stars 1956 Ella Fitzgerald), Clef/Verve. 1956
(with Count Basie), Verve. The Greatest!! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards 1957
[live] (with Count Basie and His Orchestra), Verve. Count Basie at Newport 1957
(with Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald), Verve. One O'Clock Jump 1958
A Man Ain't Supposed To Cry, Roulette/Label M . 1959
[live] (with Breakfast Dance and Barbecue Count Basie and His Orchestra), Roulette. 1959
(with Count Basie and His Orchestra), Roulette. Everyday I Have the Blues 1959
(with Count Basie), Roulette. Memories Ad-Lib 1959
(with Sing Along with Basie Lambert, Hendricks & Ross and the Basie Band), Roulette. 1959
Joe Williams Sings About You!, Roulette. 1960
Joe Williams With Songs About 'That Kind Of Woman', Roulette. 1960
Just The Blues (with Count Basie), Roulette. 1961
(with Together Harry "Sweets" Edison), Roulette. 1961
Have A Good Time With Joe Williams, Roulette. 1961
Sentimental & Melancholy, Roulette. 1962
Joe Williams Live! A Swingin' Night At Birdland, Roulette. 1963
Back To Basie & The Blues (with Count Basie and His Orchestra), compilation, Roulette. 1963
Joe Williams , RCA Victor. At Newport '63 1963
Jump For Joy, RCA Victor. 1963
One Is A Lonesome Number, Roulette. 1964
A New Kind Of Love, Roulette. 1964
Havin' A Good Time! Featuring Ben Webster, Hyena [rel. 2005]. 1964
Me And The Blues, RCA Victor. 1965
The Song Is You, RCA Victor. 1966
The Exciting Joe Williams, RCA Victor. 1967
Presenting Joe Williams and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Solid State/Blue Note. 1968
Something Old, New And Blue (with the Thad Jones/ Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra), Solid State. 1970
Worth Waiting For..., Blue Note. 1971
(with The Heart and Soul of Joe Williams and George Shearing George Shearing), Sheba/Koch. 1971
Live In Vegas (with the Count Basie Orchestra), Monad [rel. 1995]. 1972
With Love, Temponic. 1973
(with the Joe Williams Live Cannonball Adderley Sextet), Fantasy. 1978
Live At The Century Plaza (with the Capp/Pierce Juggernaut Band), Concord. 1979
Prez & Joe: In Celebration Of Lester Young (with Dave Pell's Prez Conference), GNP Crescendo . 1981
The Soundtrack Music From Burt Reynold's 'Sharky's Machine' (includes "8 To 5 I Lose"), Atlantic. 1983
(with Nothin' but the Blues Red Holloway & His Blues All-Stars), Delos . 1984
Then And Now (with the Mike Melvoin Trio + Pete Christlieb), Bosco/Sea Breeze. 1985
I Just Want To Sing (Joe Williams & Friends, June 1985), Delos. 1987
Every Night: Live At Vine St. (with the Norman Simmons Quartet), Verve. 1988
Lena Horne: The Men In My Life (includes "I Won't Leave You Again" with Joe Williams), Three Cherries. 1989
In Good Company (includes "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" with Marlena Shaw), Verve. Billboard Top Jazz Albums #5.  1990
That Holiday Feelin', Verve. 1991
Diane Schuur: Pure Schuur (includes "Deed I Do" with Joe Williams), GRP 1992
Ballad And Blues Master (more material recorded live at "Vine St." in 1987), Verve. Billboard Top Jazz Albums #7.  1993
Live At Orchestra Hall, Detroit (with the Count Basie Orchestra directed by Frank Foster), Telarc. 1994
Here's To Life (with Robert Farnon Orchestra), Telarc. 1994
Milt Jackson: The Prophet Speaks (includes "Five O'Clock In The Morning Blues" with Joe Williams), Qwest/WB. 1995 Feel The Spirit, Telarc.
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( September 2017)
^ a b c James Ross Moore (2002).
Williams, Joe. American National Biography online edition. Accessed April 2015. (subscription required).
^ a b c
Pareles, Jon (March 31, 1999). "Joe Williams, Jazz Singer of Soulful Tone and Timing, Is Dead at 80". . The New York Times
^ a b c d e f g h i Bob Weir, Barry Kernfeld.
Williams, Joe. In: Barry Kernfeld (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, second edition. Grove Music Online/ Oxford Music Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Accessed April 2015. (subscription required).
Joe Williams Collection. University of Idaho Library. Archived February 18, 2015.
^ a b
GRAMMY Award Results for Joe Williams. The Recording Academy. Archived September 26, 2017.
The Blues Foundation Database. Accessed September 2017.
Grammy Hall Of Fame Archived January 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Santa Monica, CA: The Recording Academy. Accessed April 2015.
"2001 Inductees". ASCAP Jazz Wall of Fame . Retrieved 2017.
"Joe Williams Every Day Foundation" . Retrieved 2017.
Larkin, Colin (1995). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness. p. 4494. ISBN 1-56159-176-9.
Gelb, Hank (October 5, 1997). "Joyful Noise". . San Francisco Chronicle
Elwood, Philip (March 30, 1999). "Beautiful voice, elegant man". . The San Francisco Examiner
^ a b
Joe Williams at AllMusic
R. J. Gleason (1956). Every Day is a Good Day for Joe Williams.
Down Beat 23 (11): 11 R. Horricks (1956). Joe Williams.
Jazz Monthly 2 (7): 7 L. Tomkins (1963). Frankly Speaking: Joe Williams.
Crescendo 1 (6): 10 B. Gardner (1964). Is Joe Williams Really Joe Williams?
Down Beat 31 (32): 19 A. J. Smith (1976). Joe Williams: the Well Tempered Blaze of Vocal Excellence.
Down Beat 43 (9): 11 Sheldon Harris (1979)
Blues Who's Who: a Biographical Dictionary of Blues Singers. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House. ISBN 9780870004254. Stanley Dance (1980).
The World of Count Basie. New York; London: C. Scribner's Sons. ISBN 9780684166049. Joe Williams (1980). You and Me.
Jazz-Podium 29 (10): 12 J. E. Siegel (1980). Talking with Joe Williams.
Radio Free Jazz 21 (January): 12 Dempsey J. Travis (1983).
An Autobiography of Black Jazz. Chicago, IL: Urban Research Institute. ISBN 9780941484039 Leslie Gourse (1985).
Every Day: the Story of Joe Williams London; New York: Quartet Books. ISBN 9780704324664. Chris Sheridan (1986).
Count Basie: a Bio-discography. New York: Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313249358. D. Morgenstern (1987). Joe Williams: the Boy Singer.
(October): 36 JazzTimes Whitney Balliett (1988).
American Singers: Twenty-seven Portraits in Song. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195065732. [s.n.] (1988). Joe Williams.
Jazz-Podium. 37 (7): 3 E. Calloway (April 28, 1990). Defender Newsboy Joe Williams Grew up to be a Great Vocalist.
The Chicago Defender R. Mitchell (February 16, 1994). Joe Williams Saves a Few of his High Notes.
. Houston Chronicle D. Zych (1994). Joe Williams: Celebrating Ev-e-ry-Day.
Jazz Times 24' (2): 43 H. Gelb (October 5, 1997). Blues Singer Joe Williams Has Seen Hard Times, but Takes Solace from his Saviour: Joyful Noise.
. The San Francisco Examiner Magazine D. Heckman (March 31, 1999). [obituary].
Los Angeles Times B. Crowther (1999). [obituary]. Jazz Journal International 52 (5): 18