a claim of having written over five thousand songs, Dicky Williams'
recorded works have been somewhat sporadic since his debut in 1960 but,
like London buses, if you wait long enough, two will arrive together.
With a country-orientated album waiting in the wings and a blues project
with the Ken Massey Group nearing completion, Dicky Williams is set to
be back in a big way.
Born in Snow Hill, North Carolina, on January 6, 1938, Dicky Williams
told In The Basement of his early years as a singer and piano player...
I was singing professionally in the US Army but I actually started
singing when I was about six or seven years old - my mother taught me to
sing country & western. When I got in the army, they needed some
musicians to entertain. I couldn’t play then and I really couldn’t sing
that well but I raised my hand anyway. And they said, Mister Williams,
can you play and I said, yes sir. I lied! My father played a little
piano but he was no expert and I couldn’t play a note. I had a friend of
mine called Dalton, from Chicago. He said, they hired you but you can’t
play and I said, I know but you can, so you’re going to have to teach
me. So I learned to play Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino and then I
graduated to Blue Monday, also by Fats Domino. As I went on tour around
Germany - we started off in Nuremberg - I learned how to play Got A
Woman by Ray Charles. Those three songs I took all over Europe! Fats
Domino and Ray Charles were definitely my influences and Dalton was a
good teacher. I tried to get away with a few things but he wouldn¹t let
me. Even so, when I started playing piano, I could only use two fingers
- but I graduated to three!