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jeudi 22 mai 2014

L.C. WILLIAMS/ Downhome Texas blues



L.C. WILLIAMS/ Downhome Texas blues

           L.C. (apparemment son vrai et seul prénom) Williams a été un de ces chanteurs et musiciens qui gravitaient autour de Lightnin' Hopkins à Houston et sur lequel le bluesman régnait un peu à la façon des maîtres féodaux. Ces "vassaux" obtiennent le droit de jouer avec lui, de l'accompagner sur les scènes locales, de gagner quelques dollars en échange d'une véritable allégeance à leur "maître", une sorte de servitude digne de certains gangs mafieux. C'est ainsi que Luke "Long Gone" Miles qui effectuera aussi de très bons enregistrements est chargé d'ouvrir à Lightnin' un passage vers les toilettes du bar à travers la nombreuse clientèle, le très original harmoniciste Billy Bizor sert de valet à Hopkins, s'occupe du pressing de ses vêtements...
           L.C. Williams qui émarge de la même manière à ce cercle de serviteurs du bluesman de Houston effectuera, en partie grâce à Lightnin', une carrière discographique assez conséquente.
           Né à Crockett au Texas le 12 mars 1930, L.C. a gagné Houston vers 1945, chantant et
L.C. Williams. photo: Chris Strachwitz
dansant les claquettes un peu partout dans la région. C'est dans un de ces dancings qu'il rencontre Lightnin' Hopkins qui le prend avec lui et lui permet d'enregistrer sous le nom de Lightnin' Jr trois blues très profonds et immanquablement texans pour le producteur Bill Quinn avec Hopkins au piano et à la guitare. Ces morceaux rencontrent un certain succès et Williams retrouve le chemin des studios de façon conséquente les années suivantes. Comme son mentor, Williams saute allégrement de label en label, tente un peu (et avec bonheur) tous les styles alors en vogue dans le blues texan: downhome avec ou à la Hopkins, urbain et très swinguants avec différents orchestres de R&B texans comme ceux du saxophoniste Conrad Johnson ou du pianiste Lonnie Lyons. Parmi ses accompagnateurs, on trouve généralement la crème des bluesmen de Houston dont le guitariste Goree Carter.
           En 1951, après une très belle séance avec Lightnin', L.C. Williams part tenter sa chance en Californie. C'est un échec complet. Il finit en prison pour quelques mois et revient à Houston, vivotant autour du clan Hopkins. C'est là qu'il sera "retrouvé" et interviewé par Mack Mc Cormick et Chris Strachwitz. Très peu loquace, L.C., pressé de dire à quoi correspondait ses initiales, répond "Love Crazy"!
           Il semble qu'il devait enregistrer un album pour Arhoolie qui aurait certainement pu lui ouvrir les portes du Blues Revival qui commençait alors à prendre son essor quand il décède le 18 octobre 1960 à Houston.
           Il laisse une œuvre finalement assez variée, alternant de grands moments du Country blues texan avec des séances plus entraînantes mais certainement aussi plus convenues où il est accompagné d'excellents orchestres de Rhythm & Blues. Grâce à plusieurs généreux collectionneurs (et en particulier notre ami Pierre Monnery), nous sommes désormais en mesure de proposer l'intégrale de l'œuvre de L.C. Williams, certainement non négligeable.
                                                                 Gérard HERZHAFT

           L. C. (apparently his real first name!) Williams was one of those blues singer/ musicians who were trying to make a living or a career on Lightnin' Hopkins's orbit. Lightnin' used them every time he needed them and ruled this coterie like a feudal Lord, every one having a special role serving the "master". Among those numerous vassals, L. C. Williams was certainly the one who succeeded the most to make a name for himself.
           Born at Crockett, Texas, on March, 12th 1930, L.C. went to Houston around 1945 and soon tried to make a living singing and tap dancing on the streets. His growing reputation earned him to play in night clubs where Hopkins, appreciating his talents, brought him to the famous record producer Bill Quinn who had hired Hopkins as a semi-talent scout. L.C. recorded several very downhome blues backed by Lightnin', either playing the guitar or the piano. Moreover, the records were issued under the name Lightnin' Jr that assured them good sales. During a couple of years, Williams visited quite often the Houston studios, recording his brand of Texas blues in different settings, from the deep Country blues of his beginnings to the current fashionable swinging R&B, backed by the cream of the Houston session men, from pianists Lonnie Lyons and Elmore Nixon to saxophonists like Conrad Johnson through stellar guitarist Goree Carter.

           In 1951, after another wonderful deep session with Hopkins, L.C. - persuaded he could thus make much more money with his music under the Hollywood sun - went to Los Angeles to try his luck. This was unfortunately a complete failure, L.C. even going in jail for awhile. He finally went back to Houston, struggling for a living on several menial jobs, staying close to Hopkins in a desperate hope to record again, that never materialized. He was around Lightnin' when researchers Mack Mc Cormick and Chris Strachwitz met him and interviewed him. Not very talkative about himself, L.C. only said that his initials meant "Love Crazy"!
           It seems there were some plans to record L.C. for the Arhoolie label that certainly would have opened him some doors but he died brutally in Houston on October, 18th, 1960.
           Thanks to several generous friends and collectors and particularly Pierre Monnery, we are now able and for the first time to give the really complete recordings made by this excellent Texas bluesman.
                                                      Gérard HERZHAFT


L.C. WILLIAMS/ Complete Recordings
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, pno. Houston, Tx. juillet 1947
01. Trying trying
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. juillet 1947
02. You’ll never miss the water
03. I wonder
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. janvier 1948
04. Hole in the wall
05. Boogie all the time
06. Strike blues
07. You can take it with you baby
L.C. Williams, vcl; Leroy Carter, pno. Houston, Tx. juin 1948
08. Black woman
L.C. Williams, vcl; Elmore Nixon, pno. Houston, Tx. juin 1948
09. I won’t be here long
L.C. Williams, vcl; Nelson Mills, tpt; Conrad Johnson, a-sax; Sam Williams, t-sax; Lonnie Lyons, pno; Louis Pitts, bs; Allison Tucker, dms. Houston, Tx. décembre 1948
10. I don't want your baby
11. Why don't you come back
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lonnie Lyons, pno; Goree Carter, g; Sam Williams, t-sax; Conrad Johnson, a-sax; Louis Pitts, bs; Allison Tucker, dms. Houston, Tx. février 1949
12. That's alright
13. Rich women blues
14. I want my baby back
15. I know that chick
16. Shout baby shout
17. Jelly roll
18. Louisiana boogie
19. Ethel Mae
20. Gonna change my love
21. My darkest hours
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g; Elmore Nixon, pno. Houston, Tx. décembre 1949
22. All through my dreams
23. Mean and evil blues
L.C. Williams, vcl; Lightnin’ Hopkins, g. Houston, Tx. janvier 1951
24. The Lazy J
25. Baby child
26. Fannie Mae
27. So sorry
L.C. Williams, vcl; Willie Johnson, pno; Frank Minn, tpt; Ed Wiley, t-sax; Henry Hayes, a-sax; Goree Carter, g; Don Cooks, bs; Ben Turner, dms. Houston, Tx. 29 novembre 1951
28. I don’t want no woman
29. Louise
30. I don’t like to travel
I posted an article about L.C. Williams some years ago on this blog but this one is the definitive one with english text added

19 commentaires:

  1. L.C. Williams/ Complete Recordings

    https://mega.co.nz/#!t9oEySxS!3K6x_FZhorO2xcBHVMPO_kz7q9w0ixW6VGOCiNve5As

    OK?

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    Réponses
    1. Another link for the same file
      http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/81958961/file.html

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    2. To fill numerous requests about Sonny Boy 2 (Rice Miller) recordings:, here are his complete STUDIO recordings (neither the live AFBF sessions nor the bootlegs and english live recordings). But evrything he has recorded in a studio.
      Note that I can't leave those files for too long, so grab it if you like it while you can (and say Thank you!!!!)
      SBW II A:
      http://www31.zippyshare.com/v/17590789/file.html
      SBW II B:
      http://www35.zippyshare.com/v/73639961/file.html
      SBW II C:
      http://www42.zippyshare.com/v/28109300/file.html
      SBW II C2:
      http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/899966/file.html
      SBW II D:
      http://www76.zippyshare.com/v/24526580/file.html
      SBW II E:
      http://www8.zippyshare.com/v/19861694/file.html
      SBW II F + complete discography:
      http://www23.zippyshare.com/v/27169729/file.html

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    3. Thanks for the SBW II, the LC Williams, and all the great blues around here!

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    4. Thanks so much for the many hours of great music. Your work will stay with me as long as I have the ability to hear.

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    5. Absolutely amazing collection of SBW2 tracks. Many, many thanks, zdtch

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  2. Hello GERARD.

    GREAT THANKS for this again beautiful blues.
    Have an question about:
    -in some month ago i DL L.C. Williams titled "Texas Downhome Blues - Complete recordings 1947-51" from you.
    this is the same earlier recordings or different?
    or it is the extension of that file?
    Thanks for your hard work to all over bluesfans, and thanks in advance.
    Bluesercher.

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    Réponses
    1. As I have written above, this is a new file which gathers absolutely ALL the tracks recorded by L.C. Williams. Since I posted the first article in 2012 I have received from some good souls the remaining missing titles that I thus included here. And anyway the first link was broken. I also wrote an english text for this new one that I hope would make things more easier for the english speaking readers.

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  3. A really talented guy. Too bad he didn't have that opportunity with Arhoolie. He deserves to be much better known. Thanks for adding these complete recordings to your blog


    Art

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  4. Can't figure out how to make the download happen... When I click on "Download to your computer" it says "Starting" and then it just sits there. Anybody have a suggestion? Thanks!

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    Réponses
    1. It seems that there are very often a long wait before Mega starts the download but is starts one day anyway!!!.. I used this Mega thing because Zippy wasn't easily available at the time but now it seems to be fixed so here is the new link far more easier to use I guess:
      http://www56.zippyshare.com/v/81958961/file.html
      Enjoy

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    2. Merci Gérard. Zippyshare semble toujours marcher mieux que le reste. FG

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  5. Thank you. Really good post and also enjoyed your Youtube Big Joe Williams post also.

    Marineband

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  6. Thanks for Excellent LC Williams stuff. Seen listed elsewhere and made a note of it - Freedom 1501. Conney's Combo, Vocal:-LC Williams. A side - Won't You Come Back Baby. B side - Won't You Please Come Back. Can't remember where i seen it. Regards, Zdtch

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    Réponses
    1. Freedom 1501 is:
      L.C. Williams, vcl; Nelson Mills, tpt; Conrad Johnson, a-sax; Sam Williams, t-sax; Lonnie Lyons, pno; Louis Pitts, bs; Allison Tucker, dms. Houston, Tx. décembre 1948
      10. I don't want your baby
      11. Why don't you come back
      Thanks

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    2. Ce commentaire a été supprimé par un administrateur du blog.

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  7. another of my absolute favourites, Hopkins was a great accompanist. I really like his tracks with JD Edwards as well

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