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Thursday, May 8, 2014

We Could Make Such Beautiful Music - George Williams

The Bad And The Beautiful
We Could Make Such Beautiful Music
George Williams And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1205

From the back cover: George Williams, in this unusual musical salute to beauty, has recorded instrumental versions of a dozen melodies that correspond, in grace of melody and harmony, with the tributes to beauty in their titles. Four of them are his own compositions; a fifth is the unusual treatment of Stephen Foster's last song, Beautiful Dancer (written a week or two before his death in 1864); the other seven are popular songs spanning more than forty years.

George Dale Williams was born November 5, 1917 in New Orleans, but left the Crescent City at the age of four months and was raised in Oakland, California. Studying at Chico State College in north California, George had eyes, and more significantly, ears, for the profession of music teaching. With this in mind he made a searching study of every instrument, from 1934 to '37, and at the end of that time was reasonably competent on all of them but especially proficient as a pianist. All this left him superbly equipped for the job in which he soon found himself gaining a livelihood: that of professional ball player, playing second base with the Oakland Acrons.

Someone evidently called a foul ball on George, for after a few months he was heard pounding the keys in a local night club, and later the life of the traveling sideman overtook him as he wandered through Texas and assorted other states with Merle Howard's orchestra.

Back in Los Angeles, gigging with Bob Astor's band in 1939, he connected with Jimmie Lunceford, a good friend of Astor's, and in the fall of that year started to write for Lunceford. The following spring he quit this job to build the entire library for the newly formed Lionel Hampton band.

After working his way east as pianist with Sonny Dunham's orchestra, George spent nine months as arranger with Glenn Miller until the band broke up in 1942. The Maritime Service took up his time from '43 to '46, after which there were many assignments from Harry James, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Ventura and Vaughn Monroe; then, gradually, the decision to branch out on his own as a recording bandleader.

We Could Make Such Beautiful Music
Oh You Beautiful Doll
Beauty And The Beat
Beautiful Blues
So Young So Beautiful
The Bad And The Beautiful
Wake! Beautiful Dreamer
The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful
Beautiful Love
But Beautiful
Beauty Rest
You Are Too Beautiful

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