George Williams (musician)

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George Dale "The Fox" Williams (November 5, 1917 – April 17, 1988) was a musician, composer, and an arranger for a number of major big bands, including Jimmie Lunceford,[1] Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa,[2] Sonny Dunham, and Ray Anthony.[3]


He also wrote numerous hit songs, including "Whamboogie" and "It Must Be Jelly ('Cause Jam Don't Shake like That)" for Glenn Miller, "Hamp's Boogie" for Lionel Hampton, "Gene's Boogie" for Krupa, as well as Anthony's hit songs "Lackawanna Local", "The Fox," and "The Bunny Hop,"[4] and almost all of Anthony's recorded arrangements.[5] He later wrote arrangements for Harry James, Vaughan Monroe, Charlie Ventura, and his own recording band, for which he produced two LPs and an EP in the late 1950s as a leader. In addition, he arranged and conducted the music for Barbra Streisand's first commercial single, "Happy Days Are Here Again". Williams also served as ghostwriter for the arrangements featured on Jackie Gleason's television show. He also went on to arrange several of Gleason's successful series of "mood music" albums that were released in the 1950s and 1960s. As with his work on Gleason's television show, Williams served as ghostwriter and did not receive any credit for his work until the end of the 1950s, albeit only in small print on the back of album covers[6][7][8]


  • 1956 - George Williams Orchestra, Such Beautiful Music EP (RCA Victor EPA-809)
  • 1959 - George Williams Orchestra, Swing Classics in Stereo (United Artists UAL-3027)
  • 1960 - George Williams Orchestra, Put On Your Dancing Shoes (United Artists UAS-6076)
  • 1955 - George Williams Orchestra, The Fox in HiFi (Brunswick BL54020)

As Arranger/Conductor[edit]

With Louis Bellson

With Roy Eldridge


  1. ^ - "George “The Fox” Williams brought in “The Morning After”, Margie Hyams “Take It!” and Bud Estes “I’m Alone With You” & “Indian Summer”, just in 1940."
  2. ^
  3. ^ - "The Anthony band didn't reach the very top until it featured the dynamic arrangements of George Williams with its new record contract."
  4. ^
  5. ^ Leonard Feather, The New edition of The Encyclopedia of Jazz: Completely revised, enlarged and brought up to date (Horizon Press, New York: 1960), p. 463
  6. ^ Henry III, William A (1992). The Great One: The Life and Legend of Jackie Gleason. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-41533-8. 
  7. ^ Bacon, James (1986). How Sweet it Is: The Jackie Gleason Story. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-90229-8. 
  8. ^ George Williams, Musical Arranger, 71, The New York Times, April 21, 1988. Retrieved 2012-01-28.


  • Flower, John (1972). Moonlight Serenade: a bio-discography of the Glenn Miller Civilian Band. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House. ISBN 0-87000-161-2.
  • Miller, Glenn (1943). Glenn Miller's Method for Orchestral Arranging. New York: Mutual Music Society. ASIN: B0007DMEDQ
  • Simon, George Thomas (1980). Glenn Miller and His Orchestra. New York: Da Capo paperback. ISBN 0-306-80129-9.
  • Simon, George Thomas (1971). Simon Says. New York: Galahad. ISBN 0-88365-001-0.