Tex Williams

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Tex Williams
Tex Williams 1967.JPG
Williams in 1967.
Background information
Birth nameSollie Paul Williams
Also known asTex Williams
Born(1917-08-23)August 23, 1917
OriginRamsey, Illinois
DiedOctober 11, 1985(1985-10-11) (aged 68)
Newhall, California
GenresWestern swing, country
Occupationssinger-songwriter
Instrumentsguitar, Harmonica
Years active1946–1978
 
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Tex Williams
Tex Williams 1967.JPG
Williams in 1967.
Background information
Birth nameSollie Paul Williams
Also known asTex Williams
Born(1917-08-23)August 23, 1917
OriginRamsey, Illinois
DiedOctober 11, 1985(1985-10-11) (aged 68)
Newhall, California
GenresWestern swing, country
Occupationssinger-songwriter
Instrumentsguitar, Harmonica
Years active1946–1978

Sollie Paul Williams (August 23, 1917 – October 11, 1985), known professionally as Tex Williams, was an American Western swing musician from Ramsey, Illinois.

He is best known for his talking blues style; his biggest hit was the novelty song, "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)", which held the number one position on the Billboard charts for six weeks in 1947. "Smoke" was the No. 5 song on Billboard's Top 100 list for 1947, and was No. 1 on the country chart that year.[1] It can be heard during the opening scenes of the 2006 movie, Thank You for Smoking.

Williams' backing band, the Western Caravan, numbered about a dozen members. They attained an enviable level of fluid interplay between electric and steel guitars, fiddles, bass, accordion, trumpet, and other instruments (even an occasional harp). At first they recorded polkas for Capitol Records with limited success. That was changed by the success of "Smoke, Smoke, Smoke" written in large part by Merle Travis.[2]

In April 1956 Williams appeared on the Chrysler sponsored CBS TV broadcast "Shower of Stars".[3]

His final radio show was a lengthy conversation taped by Bill Aken's radio program The Country Call Line while Williams was in the Newhall, California hospital. His wife Dallas had asked Aken to call Williams in the hospital and try to cheer him up. He died two days later. Aken ran the entire hour and a half tape without commercial interruption, as a tribute to his long-time friend and former employer.

Williams died of pancreatic cancer on October 11, 1985.[4]

Filmography[edit]

Williams and the Western Caravan appeared in the following films:

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Tex Williams collection album cover
Williams collection album cover
YearAlbumUS CountryLabel
1955Country and Western Dance-O-Rama 5Decca
1960Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!Capitol
1962Country Music TimeDecca
1963Live in Las VegasLiberty
1966A Voice of AuthorityImperial
1966Two Sides of Tex Williams26Boone
1971A Man Called Tex38Monument
1974Those Lazy, Hazy DaysGranite

Singles[edit]

YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryUS
1946"The California Polka"4singles only
1947"Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)"11
"That's What I Like About the West"4
"Never Trust a Woman"8
1948"Don't Telephone - Don't Telegraph (Tell a Woman)"2
"Suspicion"4
"Banjo Polka"5
"Who? Me?"6
"Foolish Tears"15
"Talking Boogie"6
"Just a Pair of Blue Eyes"13
"Life Gits Tee-Jus, Don't It?"527
1949"(There's a) Bluebird On Your Windowsill"11
1965"Too Many Tigers"26Two Sides of Tex Williams
"Big Tennessee"30
1966"Bottom of a Mountain"18
"First Step Down"singles only
"Another Day, Another Dollar in the Hole"44
1967"Crazy Life"
"Black Jack County"57
"She's Somebody Else's Heartache Now"
1968"Smoke, Smoke, Smoke - '68"32
"Here's to You and Me"45
"Tail's Been Waggin' the Dog"
1970"Big Oscar"A Man Called Tex
"It Ain't No Big Thing"50
1971"The Night Miss Nancy Ann's
Hotel for Single Girls Burned Down"A
29
1972"Everywhere I Go (He's Already Been There)"67
"Glamour of the Night Life (Is Calling Me Again)"singles only
"Tennessee Travelin'"
"Cynthia Ann"
1974"Is This All You Hear (When a Heart Breaks)"Those Lazy, Hazy Days
"Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer"70
"Bum Bum Bum"
1978"Make It Pretty for Me Baby"single only

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Information Not Found". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  2. ^ "Tex Williams : Biography". CMT. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  3. ^ Disk Talent Feature of 'Stars' Show. Billboard Apr 14, 1956. page 36
  4. ^ Kienzle, Southwest Shuffle, p. 99: "In 1985, he died of pancreatic cancer (not lung cancer, as was widely reported)."

References[edit]

External links[edit]