Joseph G. Williams

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Joe Williams
Birth nameJoseph George Williams
Also known asJoe Williams
Born (1920-07-01) July 1, 1920 (age 98)
OriginWarsaw, Missouri, U.S.
GenresCountry Music
InstrumentsAcoustic Guitar
Years active1950 – 1990
LabelsSix-Shooters Recordings
(1954 – 1974)
Nashville Records
(1974 – 1984)
Eagle Records
(1984 – 2009)

Joseph George Williams (born July 1, 1920 in Warsaw, Missouri) is best known for his songwriting work in country music from the mid-1950s until the early-1980s.

Birth and early life[edit]

Joseph George Williams was born on a farm on July 1, 1920 in Warsaw, Missouri. His father George Earl Williams (b. 1900) was a farmer and his mother Jenny Martha Williams (b. 1901) was a homemaker. Williams had 1 older brother John (b. 1918) and 3 younger brothers Gregory (b. 1922), Samuel (b. 1924) and David (b. 1925).

After working on the farm most of his life Joe finished school in 1938 and right after school he went right into the Army. In 1950 after 12 years in the Army Joe came back home to Warsaw and married his high school sweetheart Dolly Johnson on March 3, 1950. Then in June 1950 Joe and his wife Dolly moved to Nashville, Tennessee to become a country music artist.


Once Joe moved to Nashville he started to work in the night clubs for tips and was writing songs for superstars such as Ernest Tubb, Kitty Wells and many others. After working in clubs and bars for 4 years he was signed to Six-Shooter Records in 1954 and released his first album titled "Joe Williams' Songs." In 1955 Joe and Dolly welcomed their first son, James and in 1957 they welcomed their second song Joe, Jr. and in 1959 they welcomed their 3rd and final son Merle.

Big star writer[edit]

After many un-successful albums in 1967 he became one of Nashville's best songwriters. He had many Top 10 and Top 20 hits for artists like George Jones, Conway Twitty and Bill Anderson just to name a few. Williams made it close to No. 1 on the charts but never made it but he did come close with a song called "It's Never Too Late Baby" released in 1975 by Jerry Lee Lewis and it made it to No. 3 on the country charts.

Still writing[edit]

After writing many Top 10 and Top 20 in the 1960s and 1970s country music changed over to more Urban Cowboy-like stars such as Mickey Gilley and Johnny Lee. But after a few years off the charts he came back with a few Top 10 hits in the mid-1980s with stars such as Willie Nelson and Hank Williams, Jr.

Retirement and today[edit]

After 40 years in the country music business Joe retired to his family farm in Warsaw with his wife Dolly in 1990 where he is a hometown hero. In 1993 Joe bought a gas station in Warsaw and renamed Ol' Joe's, then in 2003 Joe's oldest son James bought the gas station from his father and kept the name. In 1999 his father George Williams died at the age of 99 in Kansas City, Missouri and on December 31, 2006 his mother Jenny Williams died at the age of 105 in Warsaw, Missouri.

Well into his 80s Joe still did a few shows every year in his homestate of Missouri mostly at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. In 2007 at the age of 87 Joe performed for the last time at the State Fair and ever due to his failing health and age.

In November 2007 Joe and his wife Dolly attended the funeral services for Porter Wagoner in Nashville, TN. Also in November of the same year Joe and his wife Dolly attended the "celebration of life" services for Hank Thompson in Ft. Worth, TX at Billy Bob's Texas.

On May 1, 2009 Joe's contract with Eagle Records was terminated. Joe had been with Eagle Records since 1985 but hasn't released an album with Eagle or at all since 1990.


Six-Shooter Recordings: 1954 – 1974[edit]

  • 1954 – Joe Williams
  • 1955 – These Songs
  • 1956 – From Missouri to Tennessee
  • 1957 – The Road
  • 1958 – Yesterday's News
  • 1959 – Joe Sings Hank
  • 1960 – Gospel Songs For Mama
  • 1961 – My Songs
  • 1963 – My Friends & Family
  • 1964 – Them Old Songs I Love
  • 1966 – Songs by Joe
  • 1967 – Joe Williams' Greatest Hits, Vol. 1
  • 1969 – Joe of 1969
  • 1972 – Then & Now
  • 1974 – Here I'am, Vol. 1 (best selling album)

Nashville Records: 1974 – 1984[edit]

  • 1975 – Guitars and Girls
  • 1976 – Maybe Next Time
  • 1978 – Joe Sings Hank...Again!
  • 1979 – Well Here I'am, Vol. 2
  • 1980 – Just Me & My Songs
  • 1982 – Songs I Wrote
  • 1984 – Joe: Live

Eagle Records: 1984 – 1990[edit]

  • 1985 – I Might Be Wrong This Time
  • 1987 – Time and Time Again
  • 1988 – Joe Williams' Greatest Hits, Vol. 2
  • 1989 – Here I'am, Vol 3: The Last Time
  • 1990 – That's All (final album)

External links[edit]