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Mary Lou Williams

Mary Lou Williams (born Mary Elfrieda Scruggs; May 8, 1910 – May 28, 1981) was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer. She wrote hundreds of compositions and arrangements and recorded more than one hundred records (in 78, 45, and LP versions). Williams wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, and she was friend, mentor, and teacher to Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 8th, 1910 (Atlanta), Died May 28th, 1981 (Durham)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1929 - 1955

Roles Represented in DAHR: piano, arranger, composer, leader, songwriter, celeste

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor PBS-09576 10-in. 7/7/1937 Roll 'em Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-017042 10-in. 11/12/1937 Camel hop Benny Goodman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-023420 10-in. 5/23/1938 Little Joe from Chicago Wingy Manone Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BS-044234 10-in. 11/21/1939 Why go on pretending? Bob Chester Orchestra ; Dolores O'Neill Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo songwriter  
Victor BS-055504 10-in. 8/8/1940 What's your story, morning glory Tex Beneke ; Glenn Miller Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
Brunswick C4473 10-in. 5/1/1930 Mary’s idea Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band arranger  
Brunswick C5724 10-in. May 1930 Night life Mary Lou Williams Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Brunswick C5725 10-in. May 1930 Drag ‘em Mary Lou Williams Piano solo instrumentalist, piano, composer  
Brunswick C6017 10-in. 7/15/1930 Gettin’ off a mess Seven Little Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick C6431 10-in. 10/9/1930 Travelin’ that rocky road Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band arranger  
Brunswick KC591 10-in. Nov. 1929 Mess-a-stomp Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band arranger  
Brunswick KC600 10-in. Nov. 1929 Sumpin’ slow and low Memphis Stompers ; John Williams Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick KC618 10-in. Nov. 1929 Corky stomp Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick KC619 10-in. Nov. 1929 Froggy Bottom Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band arranger  
Brunswick KC620 10-in. Nov. 1929 Froggy Bottom Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy Jazz/dance band arranger  
Decca 60852 10-in. 3/2/1936 Walkin' and swingin'-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60853 10-in. 3/2/1936 Moten swing Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60854 10-in. 3/2/1936 Lotta sax appeal Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60861 10-in. 3/3/1936 Git Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60862 10-in. 3/3/1936 All the jive is gone Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60865 10-in. 3/4/1936 Froggy bottom Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60866 10-in. 3/4/1936 Bearcat shuffle Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60867 10-in. 3/4/1936 Steppin' pretty Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60874 10-in. 3/7/1936 Christopher Columbus Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60876 10-in. 3/7/1936 Corky-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60877 10-in. 3/7/1936 Corny rhythm Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60878 10-in. 3/7/1936 Overhand (New Froggy Bottom) Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60879 10-in. 3/7/1936 Isabelle Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60886 10-in. 3/11/1936 I'se a-muggin' Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60887 10-in. 3/11/1936 Until the real thing comes along Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60894 10-in. 3/11/1936 Swingin' for joy Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60895 10-in. 3/11/1936 Clean pickin' Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60961 10-in. 3/31/1936 Puddin' head serenade Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60972 10-in. 4/2/1936 Until the real thing comes along Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60973 10-in. 4/3/1936 Blue illusion Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 60974 10-in. 4/3/1936 Cloudy Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61003 10-in. 4/7/1936 Give her a pint (and she'll tell it all) Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61023 10-in. 4/9/1936 Mary's special Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano, celeste  
Decca 61463 10-in. 12/9/1936 Fifty-Second Street Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61464 10-in. 12/9/1936 The lady who swings the band Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61465 10-in. 12/9/1936 What will I tell my heart? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61466 10-in. 12/9/1936 Dedicated to you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61598 10-in. 2/15/1937 Wednesday night hop-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61599 10-in. 2/15/1937 Skies are blue Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61950 10-in. 2/15/1937 Downstream Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 61951 10-in. 2/15/1937 In the groove (Keep it in the groove CD MCA-GRP 1622-2, CD MCA-GRP 2641-2/2) Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62133 10-in. 4/17/1937 Worried over you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62134 10-in. 4/17/1937 Foolin' myself Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62135 10-in. 4/17/1937 I'm glad for your sake Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62136 10-in. 4/17/1937 I'll get along somehow Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62446 10-in. 7/26/1937 A mellow bit of rhythm-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62447 10-in. 7/26/1937 In my wildest dreams Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62448 10-in. 7/26/1937 Better luck next time Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62449 10-in. 7/26/1937 Satan takes a holiday Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62453 10-in. 7/27/1937 What's mine is yours Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62454 10-in. 7/27/1937 Why can't we do it again? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62455 10-in. 7/27/1937 The key to my heart Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62456 10-in. 7/27/1937 I want to be a gypsy Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62872 10-in. 12/13/1937 Lover come back to me Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62873 10-in. 12/13/1937 Poor butterfly Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62874 10-in. 12/13/1937 The big dipper Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 62875 10-in. 12/13/1937 Bear down Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 63255 10-in. 2/8/1938 I surrender dear Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 63256 10-in. 2/8/1938 Twinklin' Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 63257 10-in. 2/8/1938 It must be true Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 63258 10-in. 2/8/1938 I'll get by Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 63259 10-in. 2/8/1938 Little Joe from Chicago-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy arranger, instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64612 10-in. 9/9/1938 The gal that wrecked my life Rodney Sturgis instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 64613 10-in. 9/9/1938 Bless you, my dear Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64614 10-in. 9/9/1938 How can we be wrong? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64615 10-in. 9/9/1938 Mess-a stomp-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 64642 10-in. 9/2/1938 Toadie toddle Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64643 10-in. 9/2/1938 won't tell a soul (I love you) Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64644 10-in. 9/2/1938 What would people say? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64645 10-in. 9/2/1938 How much do you mean to me? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64662 10-in. 9/14/1938 The pearls Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64663 10-in. 9/14/1938 Mr. Freddie blues Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64664 10-in. 9/14/1938 Sweet (Patootie) Patunia Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64665 10-in. 9/14/1938 The rocks Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64694 10-in. 10/24/1938 Jump Jack jump Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64695 10-in. 10/24/1938 Breeze Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64696 10-in. 10/24/1938 Ghost of love Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64697 10-in. 10/24/1938 What a life Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64698 10-in. 10/25/1938 Sittin' around and dreamin' Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64699 10-in. 10/25/1938 What's your story, morning glory? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64777 10-in. 12/5/1938 Honey Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64778 10-in. 12/5/1938 September in the rain Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64779 10-in. 12/5/1938 Clouds Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64780 10-in. 12/5/1938 Julius Caesar Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64781 10-in. 12/5/1938 Dunkin' a doughnut-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 64782 10-in. 12/6/1938 Goodbye Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64783 10-in. 12/6/1938 Mary's idea-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 64784 10-in. 12/6/1938 But it didn't mean a thinq Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 64785 10-in. 12/6/1938 Say it again Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65188 10-in. 3/16/1939 You set me on fire Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65189 10-in. 3/16/1939 I'll never learn Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65190 10-in. 3/16/1939 Close to five Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65191 10-in. 3/16/1939 Floyd's guitar blues-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 65249 10-in. 3/23/1939 (I wanna go where you go) Then I'll be happy Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65250 10-in. 3/23/1939 S'posin' Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65251 10-in. 3/23/1939 I'll never fail you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 65252 10-in. 3/23/1939 Why don't I get wise to myself Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 66877 10-in. 11/15/1939 I'm getting nowhere with you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 66878 10-in. 11/15/1939 I don't stand a ghost of a chance with you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 66879 10-in. 11/15/1939 Please don't talk about me when I'm gone Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 66880 10-in. 11/15/1939 Big Jim blues-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67010 10-in. 1/2/1940 Wham (Wham-re-bop-boom-bam) Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67011 10-in. 1/2/1940 Love is the thing Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67012 10-in. 1/2/1940 Why go on pretending ? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67013 10-in. 1/2/1940 It always will be you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67514 10-in. 4/9/1940 Walkin' and swingin'-2 Les Brown Orchestra arranger  
Decca 67893 10-in. 6/25/1940 Fine and mellow Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67894 10-in. 6/25/1940 Scratching in the gravel Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67895 10-in. 6/25/1940 Fifteen minute intermission Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67896 10-in. 6/25/1940 Take those blues away Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67917 10-in. 7/8/1940 Now I lay me down to dream Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67918 10-in. 7/8/1940 There is no greater love Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67919 10-in. 7/8/1940 Midnight stroll Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 67920 10-in. 7/8/1940 Little Miss Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68317 10-in. 11/7/1940 The Count Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68318 10-in. 11/7/1940 Twelfth Street rag Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68319 10-in. 11/7/1940 When I saw you Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68363 10-in. 11/18/1940 If I feel this way tomorrow Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68364 10-in. 11/18/1940 Or have I ? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68365 10-in. 11/18/1940 Baby dear Kansas City Seven ; Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 68366 10-in. 11/18/1940 Harmony blues Kansas City Seven ; Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 68546 10-in. 1/3/1941 Cuban boogie woogie Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68547 10-in. 1/3/1941 A dream dropped in Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68548 10-in. 1/3/1941 Is it a sin (lovin' you) ? Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 68549 10-in. 1/3/1941 Ring dem bells Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 69519 10-in. 7/17/1941 Big time grip-1 Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 69520 10-in. 7/17/1941 47th Street jive Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 69521 10-in. 7/17/1941 I'm misunderstood Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 69522 10-in. 7/17/1941 No answer Andy Kirk ; Twelve Clouds of Joy instrumentalist, piano, arranger  
Decca 83158 7/11/1952 Down beat Mary Lou Williams Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83159 7/11/1952 [Unknown title(s)] Mary Lou Williams Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83160 7/11/1952 Out of nowhere Mary Lou Williams Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83161 7/11/1952 C jam blues Mary Lou Williams Orchestra instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83455 9/30/1952 Down beat Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83456 9/30/1952 C jam blues, part 1 Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 83457 9/30/1952 C jam blues, part 2 Mary Lou Williams instrumentalist, piano  
Decca 89020 August 1955 Roll 'em-5 Benny Goodman and his Orchestra arranger  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Williams, Mary Lou," accessed December 4, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103504.

Williams, Mary Lou. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 4, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103504.

"Williams, Mary Lou." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 4 December 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/103504

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