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Williams, Stanley Rudolph "Fess"
Birth Year : 1894
Death Year : 1975
Stanley R. "Fess" Williams, born in Danville, KY, was a bandleader who played the clarinet, alto saxophone, and violin. In 1914, he moved to Cincinnati after graduating from Tuskegee Institute and returned to Kentucky in 1915 where he taught school in Winchester [source: WWI Draft Regisration Card, 1917-18]. He and his family later moved to Chicago before settling in New York in 1924, where he formed the Royal Flush Orchestra in 1925. The band played at the Savoy Ballroom from 1926-1928 and had a number of recordings that featured musicians such as pianist Henry "Hank" Duncan from Bowling Green, KY. One of the group's most memorable and best selling recordings was Hot Town. Fess Williams led bands in both New York and Chicago. He was the uncle, by marriage, to Charles Mingus; his wife, Louise Phillips Williams, was Mingus' maternal aunt. Stanley R. Williams died in Jamaica, NY, on December 17, 1975 [source: U.S. Social Security Death Index]. He was the son of Maria Jane Durham [source: 1900 U.S. Federal Census]. For more see Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra, at redhotjazz.com; and see "Fess Williams" in the Oxford Music Online Database.
See album cover and listen to "Fess Williams and his Royal Flush Orchestra" on YouTube
Subjects: Migration North, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky / New York