Cultural Percussionist

Lester Williams Day

Lester B. Williams (June 24, 1920 – November 13, 1990) was an American Texas blues and electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter. He is best known for his song “Winter Time Blues” and “I Can’t Lose with the Stuff I Use”. His main influence was T-Bone Walker.

Williams released several singles in the 1950s. His recording career lasted from 1949 to 1956, but he remained a stalwart of the Houston blues circuit for decades.

Williams was born in Groveton, Texas. When he was a young boy his family relocated to Houston. After serving in World War II, Williams sang at Houston’s Eldorado Ballroom, but quit and enrolled at the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, to study piano and voice. He did not graduate, and he returned to Houston, where he taught himself to play the guitar and started to write songs. Walker’s influence inspired Williams, who said to himself, “I could learn to play guitar and pull in some of that money that T-Bone made”. Having formed his own group in 1949, he wrote “Winter Time Blues”, which came from his own experience when his wife and daughter traveled to Los Angeles for the summer, leaving him to contemplate the winter alone. The song included the lyric “Winter without your baby, you might as well be dead”.

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