Spencer Williams

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Spencer Williams
Spencer Williams - pianist.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSpencer Williams
Born(1889-10-14)October 14, 1889
New Orleans, U.S.
DiedJuly 14, 1965(1965-07-14) (aged 75)
Flushing, New York, U.S.
GenresJazz, popular music
Occupation(s)Composer, musician
InstrumentsPiano, vocals
Associated actsFats Waller, Josephine Baker

Spencer Williams (October 14, 1889 – July 14, 1969) was an American jazz and popular music composer, pianist, and singer. He is best known for his hit songs "Basin Street Blues", "I Ain't Got Nobody", "Royal Garden Blues", "I've Found a New Baby", "Everybody Loves My Baby", "Tishomingo Blues", and many others.


Spencer Williams was born in New Orleans. He was educated at St. Charles University in New Orleans.[1][2]

Williams was performing in Chicago by 1907, and moved to New York City about 1916. After arriving in New York, he co-wrote several songs with Anton Lada of the Louisiana Five. Among those songs was "Basin Street Blues", which became one of his most popular songs and is still recorded by musicians to this day.[2]

Williams toured Europe with bands from 1925 to 1928; during this time he wrote for Josephine Baker at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Williams then returned to New York for a few years. In 1932, he moved to Europe for good, spending many years in London before moving to Stockholm in 1951, where he spent most of the rest of his life. Williams was married to Pat Castleton (a stage name of Agnes Bage). They had two daughters together called Della and Lindy.[3] Williams returned to New York shortly before his death in Flushing, New York on July 14, 1965.[2]

His hit songs include "Basin Street Blues", "She'll Be Comin Around That Mountain", "I Ain't Got Nobody", "Royal Garden Blues", "Mahogany Hall Stomp", "I've Found a New Baby", "Everybody Loves My Baby", "Shimmy-Sha-Wobble", "Boodle Am Shake", "Tishomingo Blues", "Fireworks", "I Ain't Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll", "Arkansas Blues", "Paradise Blues", "When Lights Are Low","Dallas Blues", and "My Man o’ War".

Williams was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.[4]


  1. ^ "Tishomingo Blues:Spencer Williams". Riverwalk Jazz. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Ankeny, Jason. "Biography of Spencer Williams". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Giddins, Gary (18 May 2000). "Visions of Jazz: The First Century". Oxford University Press, USA. Retrieved 22 December 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Spencer Williams". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 13, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2010.