Skippy Williams

Elmer, or Elbert, "Skippy" Williams (July 27, 1916 – February 28, 1994) was a jazz tenor saxophonist, and musical arranger.

First credited as the arranger for some July 12, 1939 recordings for Earl Hines and His Orchestra, Skippy Williams is best known as the substitute for Ben Webster in Duke Ellington's orchestra. Replacing Webster in August 1943, Williams appears on Ellinton's Carnegie Hall recordings in December 1943. He left Ellington in May 1944, to start his own band and was replaced by Big Al Sears.

In the mid-1940s he gave tenor sax classes to Pepper Adams in Rochester, NY, and was working with Thelonious Monk in 1946, credited as bandleader for Monk.

Williams also worked with Art Tatum, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie, Lucky Millinder, Bob Chester, and, according to some sources, played tenor sax on the original recording of Bill Haley's "Rock Around the Clock", and "Shake, Rattle and Roll",. This claim is, however, false.

Birth and Death Data: Born July 27th, 1916, Died February 28th, 1994

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1951

Roles Represented in DAHR: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, composer

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-038257 10-in. 7/12/1939 Ridin' and jivin' Earl Hines Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Decca 69365 10-in. 6/13/1941 Do you dig my jive? Sam Price and his Texas Bluesicians instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 69366 10-in. 6/13/1941 I know how to do it Sam Price and his Texas Bluesicians instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 69367 10-in. 6/13/1941 Valetta Sam Price and his Texas Bluesicians instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 69368 10-in. 6/13/1941 Boogie woogie man Sam Price and his Texas Bluesicians instrumentalist, tenor saxophone  
Decca 81341 8/6/1951 Cherokee boogie Joey Thomas Orchestra instrumentalist, baritone saxophone  
Decca 81342 8/6/1951 Hobo boogie Joey Thomas Orchestra instrumentalist, baritone saxophone  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Williams, Skippy," accessed October 26, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113569.

Williams, Skippy. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 26, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113569.

"Williams, Skippy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 26 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113569

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