Amazon.com Widgets

Mary Lou Williams

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: May 8, 1910 | Died: May 28, 1981    

Imagine a pianist playing concerts with Benny Goodman and Cecil Taylor in successive years (1977-78). That pianist was Mary Lou Williams. In a career which spanned over fifty years Mary was always on the cutting edge.

She was born Mary Scruggs in 1910 Atlanta. Her mother was a single parent who worked as a domestic and played spirituals and ragtime on piano and organ. At age three Mary shocked her by reaching up from her mother's lap to pick out a tune on the keyboard. Rather than hiring a teacher (for fear the child would lose the ability to improvise) Mary's mother invited professional musicians to their home. By watching, listening and heeding their advice, Mary learned well, especially the importance of a strong left hand. By age six, dubbed “The Little Piano Girl of East Liberty”, she was playing for money around her new home of Pittsburgh, Pa. Her early years included listening to piano rolls of James P. Johnson and Willie “The Lion” Smith, records of Jelly Roll Morton and seeing Earl Hines play at youth dances. At age twelve she went on the road during school vacations with a vaudeville show. Three years later she quit high school to join the very successful vaudeville team Seymour and Jeanette. Here she met saxophonist John Williams, whom she married at sixteen. When John got the call to join Terrence Holder's band in Oklahoma, Mary took charge of his band, the Synco-Jazzers, in Memphis (Jimmie Lunceford was a member)....
read more

  • BUY

    A Grand Night for Swinging

    HighNote Records
    2008
  • BUY

    Credo / It Ain't Necessarily So

    Sony Urban Music
    2008
  • BUY

    The History Of Jazz

    Sony Urban Music
    2007
  • BUY

    Zodiac Suite: Revisited

    Mary Records
    2006
  • BUY

    Mary Lou Williams Presents Black Christ of the Andes

    Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
    2004
  • BUY

    Zodiac Suite: Revisited

    Mary Records
    2004
  • BUY

    Norman Granz' Jazz In Montreux Presents Mary Lou Williams '78

    Sony Urban Music
    2004
View Discography Page

This information is provided by discogs.com or the profile administrator.

Watch More Videos

Featured recording “Rediscovered Music of Mary Lou Williams”

Latest Release

Rediscovered Music of Mary Lou Williams

Challenge Records (2006)
Rank: 613 Views: 15,008 Fans: 2
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Musician Search

Help improve the Mary Lou Williams profile

All About Jazz musician profiles are maintained by musicians, publicists and trusted members like you. Interested? Tell us why you would like to improve the Mary Lou Williams musician profile.