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This Day in Georgia History

March 29, 1999

Joe Williams Died

Blues vocalist Joe Williams died in Las Vegas. Born in Cordele, Georgia in 1919, his family moved to Chicago while he was still a youth. Here, he sang with a gospel group known as the Jubilee Boys. Williams later sang with the bands of Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and others. But, it was not until 1951 that his performance of “Everyday I Have the Blues” made the music charts. Four years later, he recorded the song again – this time with the Count Basie Band – and went on to international fame as a vocalist. After the end of the big band era, Williams continued his music career as a solo artist. In his later years, Williams broadened his career to including acting, appearing on the “Cosby” television show in the occasional role of the comedian’s father-in-law.