Dootsie Williams

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Dootsie Williams
Dootsie Williams.jpg
Background information
Birth name Walter D. Williams Jr.
Born (1911-06-17)June 17, 1911
Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died August 21, 1991(1991-08-21) (aged 80)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Comedy, doo-wop, gospel
Occupation(s) Record executive, record producer, band leader
Years active 1940s–1975
Labels Dooto, Dootone
Associated acts Redd Foxx
The Penguins
Papa John Creach

Walter D. Williams, Jr. (June 17, 1911–August 21, 1991),[1] known as Dootsie Williams, was an American record producer and record label owner who released early records by Redd Foxx and The Penguins.

Life and career[edit]

Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama, in 1911, and by 1918 had moved with his family to Los Angeles.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3] In 1954, he recorded a local group called The Penguins, who would have a huge hit with "Earth Angel."[3]

While the label would record a wide variety of music, it would be best known for a series of comedy recordings by Redd Foxx.[4] 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.[5]

Williams died in Los Angeles on August 21, 1991.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Eagle, Bob; LeBlanc, Eric S. (2013). Blues - A Regional Experience. Santa Barbara: Praeger Publishers. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0313344237. 
  2. ^ Cashmore, Ernest (1997). The black culture industry. London and New York, New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12082-9. 
  3. ^ a b Dawson, Jim. "The Penguins and 'Earth Angel'". The Doo-Wop Society of Southern California. Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  4. ^ Edwards, Dave; Callahan, Mike; Eyries, Patrice (13 Jan 2010). "Dootone/Dooto Album Discography". Retrieved 10 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Goodman, Mark (October 28, 1991). "Redd Foxx exits, laughing". People. 36 (16). Retrieved October 11, 2010. 

External links[edit]