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date: 21 April 2021

Williams, Clarencelocked

(8 Oct. 1898 or 1893–06 November 1965)
  • Harvey Cohen

Extract

Williams, Clarence (8 Oct. 1898 or 1893–06 November 1965), blues and jazz musician, publisher, and music producer, was born in Plaquemine, Louisiana (information on his parentage is unavailable). In 1906 his family moved to New Orleans. Williams’s first instrument was the guitar, which he abandoned before he reached his teens to concentrate on the piano. Most of his learning was done by ear or by watching others, although he did receive eight lessons in the early 1910s, at the end of which he believed he knew all he needed to know about piano playing. At the age of twelve he left home to join Billy Kersand’s traveling minstrel show as a pianist, master of ceremonies, dancer, and comedian. Williams spent most of his teenage years in the clubs of New Orleans’ legendary Storyville district as a pianist and songwriter. During this time he met pianist and composer ...

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