Elmer, or Elbert, "Skippy" Williams (July 27, 1916 – February 28, 1994) was an American 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 remembered as the substitute for Ben Webster in Duke Ellington's orchestra. Replacing Webster in August 1943, Williams appears on Ellington'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 27, 1916, Died February 28, 1994
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1939 - 1951
Roles Represented in DAHR: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, composer
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
|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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Williams, Skippy," accessed December 8, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113569.
Williams, Skippy. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/113569.
"Williams, Skippy." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 8 December 2023.
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