Joe Williams (December 12, 1918 – March 29, 1999) was an American jazz singer….who sang with big bands such as the Count Basie Orchestra….and the Lionel Hampton Orchestra….plus with his combos…. while singing in two films with the Basie orchestra….and sometimes he worked as an actor.
Williams worked as a singer and bouncer in Chicago in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s….when he began singing professionally as a soloist in 1937….while performing with Jimmie Noone’s Apex Club Orchestra. In 1941 he toured with Coleman Hawkins….then In 1943 he began touring with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra….and from 1954 to 1961, he was the singer for the Count Basie Orchestra….when in 1955 he recorded “Every Day I Have the Blues” and “Alright, Okay, You Win” ….which were among many successful recordings from this period.
In this video herewith, Joe Williams teams up with Sarah Vaughan at the Kennedy Center Salute To Duke Ellington to perform “It Ain’t Got That Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”….which is an all time favorite Duke Ellington jazz piece here at ImaSportsphile.
Sarah Vaughan (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer….who was nicknamed “Sassy” and “The Divine One”….as she won four Grammy Awards….including the Lifetime Achievement Award….and she was given an NEA Jazz Masters Award in 1989…..as music critic Scott Yanow once wrote that she had “one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century”…..as evidenced by this video.