Billy Williams (singer)

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Billy Williams (December 28, 1910 – October 17, 1972) was an African-American singer. He had a successful cover recording of Fats Waller's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" in 1957. The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] His trademark hook for his songs was to shout "Oh, Yeah" at the end of lyrics.

Born in Waco, Texas, Williams was the lead singer of the Charioteers between 1930 and 1950, when he formed his own Billy Williams Quartet with Eugene Dixon, Claude Riddick and John Ball. Many television appearances followed, including an appearance on Your Show of Shows with Sid Caesar.[2]

On April 5, 1959, the Billy Williams Quartet appeared on the Ed Sullivan show and performed a rousing version of Goodnight Irene.

By the early 1960s he lost his voice due to complications of diabetes. He subsequently moved to Chicago and worked as a social worker until his death there in 1972 at age 61.


Charted singles[edit]

Year Single US Pop
1947 "My Adobe Hacienda" 13
1951 "(Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To) Shanghai" 20
"(It's No) Sin" 28
1953 "Pour Me a Glass of Teardrops" 30
1954 "Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)" 21
1956 "A Crazy Little Palace (That's My Home)" 49
1957 "The Pied Piper" 50
"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" 3
"Date with the Blues"
"Got a Date with an Angel" 78
1958 "Baby, Baby" 78
"I'll Get By (As Long as I Have You)" 87
1959 "Nola" 39
"Goodnight, Irene" 75
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  1. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 97. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1992). The Billboard Book of USA Top 40 Hits (5th ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Publishing Limited. p. 494. ISBN 0-85112-528-X. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories: 1890-1954. Record Research. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1994). Pop Hits: 1940-1954. Record Research. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007). Top Pop Singles: 1955-2006. Record Research. 

External links[edit]