Jerry Williams (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jerry Williams
Jerry Williams 2012-07-04 001.jpg
Jerry Williams, 2012
Background information
Birth nameSven Erik Fernström
Born(1942-04-15)15 April 1942
Solna, Sweden
Died25 March 2018(2018-03-25) (aged 75)
Täby, Sweden
Years active1962–2018
Associated actsThe Violents, Roadwork

Sven Erik Fernström (15 April 1942 – 25 March 2018), better known by the stage name Jerry Williams, was a Swedish singer and actor. He began his career as the lead singer of The Violents, before launching a solo career.

Early life[edit]

Williams grew up in a working-class family in Solna. The family had a one-room apartment. Williams' mother, a nurse, died when he was only twelve years old. His father took care of him and his brother alone.[1] He was very interested in sports, and as a youngster he played football, ice hockey and was engaged in cycle sport. He was also a member of Narva BK, a boxing club.[2]

In his youth, Williams worked as a plumber.[1] He did his mandatory military service in 1966.[3]


In 1962, Williams joined The Violents, a Swedish band that was formed in 1959 influenced by the English instrumental guitar group The Shadows. The band had a number of line-up changes. But when Williams joined in 1962, he became frontman and the lead singer of the band. In 1962, Williams and the Violents released a version of "Darling Nelly Grey" as a single, which became a major hit in Sweden.[4]

When Little Richard performed at the Star-Club in Hamburg in 1962, both Williams along with The Violents and The Beatles were opening acts.[3] When The Beatles toured Sweden in 1963, Williams and The Violents were the opening act.[4] The Violents folded in 1966.

In the 1960s, Williams recorded a track with English record producer Joe Meek. The track was called "The Wonder Of Your Love". It was never released and was found amongst Meek's tapes when he died. It can be heard on YouTube.[citation needed] Williams' music style was soul-influenced by the end of the 1960s, and the song "Keep On" became a hit in Sweden in 1969.[5]

He returned to rock and roll-based music in the early 1970s and performed with the band Roadwork until the early 1980s. During the 1970s, he also toured with the band The Telstars.[5][6] In 1983, Williams made his debut as an actor in the film G – som i gemenskap. He also acted in the musical "Cats.[6]

In 1989, Williams released the song "Did I Tell You", which became his biggest hit, and the record JW which led to him being discovered by a new generation. A music video was also filmed for "Did I Tell You".[7] During this time, Williams also had the stage show act "Live på Börsen" at Hamburger Börs in Stockholm.[7] Williams followed it up with more shows such as Live 'n Jive at Hamburger Börs in 1999, Jerka at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg and Göta Lejon in Stockholm in 2002.[8] As well as "Ringside" at Scalateatern in 2005, and Lorensbergsteatern in Gothenburg in 2006.[8] In 1985, Williams was awarded a cultural award Swedish Trade Union Confederation, and in 1991 he was pictured on a Swedish stamp.[9] In the Eurovision Song Contest of 1989, he was a part of the choir for the song "En dag" which was performed by Tommy Nilsson representing Sweden.[10]

In 1986, he lost almost 2.9 million (SEK), reportedly as a result of mismanagement of funds by his financial advisor.[11] Williams was a host for Sommar i P1 on Sveriges Radio on 5 August 2009.[12] In 2010, an art project featuring his work was exhibited at Göteborgs Konsthall in Gothenburg. In 2009 and 2010 he had the show Dynamite at Rondo in Gothenburg and Tyrol in Stockholm.[13] He performed on the popular TV show Allsång på Skansen on several occasions.[14]

On 17 January 2013, Williams premiered his farewell tour Jerry – The Farewell Show at Cirkus in Stockholm. Over 100,000 tickets were sold for the entire pan-Sweden tour for most of 2013.[15]

Also in 2013, Williams co-operated with opera singer Malena Ernman on the latter's album I decembertid. He sang "Counting Miracles", the opening track of the album as a duet with Ernman.[16] The song charted at Svensktoppen, and placed as number one on 6 April 2014.[16]


One of Williams' trademarks was the unique language and speech pattern he used throughout his life. It was a kind of sociolect based on old Stockholm dialects and slang, mixed with words and expressions used by touring musicians, notably smaller bands touring by bus. He also invented words, metaphors and expressions of his own; some of which would filter out and become part of the Swedish way of talking. Sometimes when he appeared in national TV, the broadcast company would subtitle the program in Standard Swedish.[3][17]

Personal life[edit]

Williams was a lifelong communist.[18] Off stage he led a very private life[17] with his family, dogs and training. He was a AIK supporter.[2]

Williams had been married since 1977, and had two daughters from that marriage.[19] Before getting married he was a single father with a son. He lived in Täby at the time of his death.[19] Williams died from cancer in Täby on 25 March 2018, aged 75.[20]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
1963 Jerry 21 -
1963 Mr. Dynamite -
1964 More Dynamite -
1964 At the Star-Club -
1965 Mr. Dynamite Explodes Again -
1966 Action -
1968 Power of Soul -
1969 Dr. Williams & Mr. Dynamite -
1970 Leader of the Pack -
1971 Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On -
1972 Money -
1973 Keep On -
1974 Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller -
1976 Kick Down 45
1977 Too Fast to Live – Too Young to Die  –
1979 I Can Jive 12
1980 Hot Rock 'n' Roll Band  –
1981 No Creases 48
1982 God Bless Rock 'n' Roll 46
1983 2 Faces 43
1984 Working Class Hero  –
1987 One and One 44
1989 JW 3
1993 Jerry Williams 13
1996 Keep On Rollin' 16
1998 Kung i blodet 11
2000 Can't Slow Down 6
2002 Sweet Sixty 16
2011 Alright 5
2013 Keep On 18
2015 Ghost Rider 4

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
1990 Live på Börsen 7
1990 Golden Hits Live 59
2009 Dynamite – Live 16
2018 Man måste få lira (Live på Scalateatern / 2016) 44

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions
1999 Jerry Williams Greatest Hits 2
2007 I Can Jive – Det bästa med Jerry Williams 4


Year Single Peak positions Album
1989 "Did I Tell You" 1
"It Started With a Love Affair"  –
1990 "Who's Gonna Follow You Home?" 4
1991 "If You See Her"
(Jerry Williams & The Boppers)
1992 "Rock A Doddle" 31
1993 "Goodbye Rolling Stones" 21
1996 "Jackson" 45
2005 "Ringside" 59



  • Williams, Jerry; Rehnberg, Bo (1992). Jerry: självbiografin [Jerry: the biography] (in Swedish). Stockholm: Norstedt. ISBN 91-1-919212-6. LIBRIS 7156032.


  1. ^ a b Sweden, Sveriges Television AB, Stockholm. "Per Andersson: "Han var rörmokaren från Solna"". Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018 – via
  2. ^ a b Töpffer, Michael (28 March 2018). "Jerry Williams hemliga liv – därför drog han sig undan". Expressen. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Steen, Håkan (26 March 2018). "Håkan Steen: Tack så mycket för liret "Jerka"". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Jerry Williams var en dynamit som höll sig explosiv i över 50 år". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Jerry Williams är död – somnade in efter en kort tids sjukdom". 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Vännerna chockade över Jerry Williams plötsliga död: "Fy vad det gör ont"". Expressen. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Milstolparna i Jerry Williams karriär – DN.SE". 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Jerry Williams är död – DN.SE". Dagens Nyheter. 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  9. ^ /TT (26 March 2018). "Löfven om Williams: "Snacka om folkkär" – Kristianstadsbladet". Kristianstadsbladet. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Tommy Nilsson sjunger 'En dag', men håll koll på kören… Det här hade jag helt glömt bort!". 13 October 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Rådgivare åtalas för förskingring – DN.SE". 4 February 1997. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  12. ^ Jerry Williams – Sommar i P1 Sveriges Radio Retrieved 27 March 2018
  13. ^ "Jerry Williams – Dynamite". 16 July 2015. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Jerry Williams levde för musiken". 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  15. ^ "Jerry Williams". 29 July 2014. Archived from the original on 26 March 2018. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  16. ^ a b Radio, Sveriges. "Counting Miracles ny etta! – Svensktoppen". Sveriges Radio. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  17. ^ a b LInderborg, Åsa (26 March 2018). "En genuint vacker själ". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  18. ^ Bengtsson, Janne (26 March 2018). "Jerry hymlade aldrig med sina politiska åsikter". Proletären. Retrieved 29 March 2018.
  19. ^ a b Görnerup Faith-Ell, Åsa (4 February 2014). "Jerry Williams tar farväl". Lokaltidningen Mitt i Solna.
  20. ^ "Jerry Williams smärta – led av svår sjukdom". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d "Jerry Williams discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  22. ^ "Jerry Williams – Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  23. ^ a b c d "Jerry Williams (3)". discogs. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Sverigetopplistan – Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 6 April 2018. Click on "Veckans albumlista".
  25. ^ "Jerry Williams är död – blev 75 år gammal". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  26. ^ "ROCK A DOODLE – JERRY WILLIAMS MFL". Tradera. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  27. ^ "Rocklegendaren Jerry Williams är död – blev 75 år gammal". Expressen. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  28. ^ "Måtte 70-talets tidsanda aldrig komma tillbaka". Aftonbladet. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  29. ^ a b c Henriksson, Daniel (26 March 2018). "Jerry Williams är död – blev 75 år". Skövdenyheter. Retrieved 27 March 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to Jerry Williams at Wikimedia Commons