|Birth name||Walter D. Williams Jr.|
June 17, 1911|
Mobile, Alabama, United States
|Died||August 21, 1991
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Genres||Comedy, doo-wop, gospel|
|Occupation(s)||Record executive, record producer, band leader|
|Associated acts||Redd Foxx
Papa John Creach
Life and career
Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1911, and by 1918 had moved with his family to Los Angeles. He was a leader of the Harlem Dukes band in the 1940s. While performing at gigs, he came up with the idea of recording other artists.
In 1949, Williams founded the Blue Records label. Two years later he changed the name to Dootone. One of the first artists he recorded on Dootone was a violinist named Johnny Creach, who years later would become popular at Woodstock as Papa John Creach. In 1954, he recorded a local group called The Penguins, who would have a huge hit with "Earth Angel."
While the label would record a wide variety of music, it would be best known for a series of comedy recordings by Redd Foxx. Williams saw the comedian perform at the Brass Rail, a local Los Angeles nightclub, and signed Foxx to a recording contract. Laff of the Party, the first of many albums that Foxx recorded for Williams, became a cult favorite and helped establish him as a national star.
- Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0313344237.
- Cashmore, Ernest (1997). The black culture industry. London and New York, New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12082-9.
- Dawson, Jim. "The Penguins and 'Earth Angel'". The Doo-Wop Society of Southern California. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Edwards, Dave; Callahan, Mike; Eyries, Patrice (13 Jan 2010). "Dootone/Dooto Album Discography". Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Goodman, Mark (October 28, 1991). "Redd Foxx exits, laughing". People. 36 (16). Retrieved October 11, 2010.
- Dootone/Dooto Single Discography
- Dootone/Dooto Album Discography
- The Doo-Wop Society of Southern California
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