Joseph Leon Williams, a.k.a Jody Williams, was a blues guitarist and singer-songwriter born in Mobile, Alabama in 1935. Known as one of the influential artists of the Chicago Blue’s scene of the 1950’s, Williams’ music was defined by his flamboyant string-bending and imaginative chord voicing tones.
His first instrument was the harmonica, but he later swapped this for the guitar after hearing Bo Diddley play at a talent show where they were both performing. Diddley was seven years older and so took Williams under his wing and taught him the rudiments of guitar!
By 1951 Williams and Diddley were playing on the street together, with Williams providing backing to Diddley’s vocals and after touring with the West Coast piano player Charles Brown, Williams established himself as a session player with Chess Records!! At Chess, Williams met Howlin’ Wolf and was hired by Wolf as the first guitarist in his new Chicago-based band.
Williams’s solo career began in December 1955 and two years later out came today’s little howling dream song which appeared as the b-side to his 1957 single, You May.
Lucky Lou was released on Argo Records and this surf-like instrumental is about as catchy as it can get! The song soon became an inspiration for Otis Rush’ 1958 single, All Your Love (I Miss Loving), which copied the opening riff to Lucky Lou….and this wasn’t the only occasion that Rush was so influenced by Williams that he copied his music! Otis Rush’s solo on Buddy Guy’s 1958 debut, Sit and Cry (The Blues) was almost an exact copy of William’s You May! – I guess it’s no surprise that both Williams and Rush played a number of sessions together!
Lucky Lou is definitely a lucky find for me and if it were to crop up in some Tarantino film, it would fit in just perfect!.. Check it out above.