Who was/is Andre Williams ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Andre Williams

Bacon Fat

Andre Williams (Mr. Rhythm) And His New Group

A maverick to the core, Andre Williams has done it all over close to six decades in the recording industry: singing, dancing, songwriting, producing, and doo-wopping.

Born in Bessemer, Alabama on November 1, 1936, Andre moved to Chicago's South Side with his folks in 1941. At age 16, he was a member of The Cavaliers, then graduated to The Five Thrills, who cut in 1953-54 for deejay Al Benson's Parrot label. Williams' Navy adventures took him to San Diego, where comic Redd Foxx gave him his nickname of 'Mr. Rhythm.' "I wasn't a hell of a singer, so I could make up for it by dancing and doing the splits," says Andre. Williams ended up in Detroit with The Five Dollars, who cut for Jack and Devora Brown's Fortune Records. 

Fortune was a shoestring operation. "It was so small that the storeroom was a studio," says Williams. "They were using the record boxes that the records came in, they were using that as sound acoustics." The Five Dollars debuted on Fortune in 1955 with the weird Harmony Of Love, which had no lyrics, just harmonizing. Andre led their followup Going Down To Tia Juana, which had words; it came out late that year with Pulling Time on the flip, credited to Andre Williams with The Don Juans. The billing held for a Williams-fronted It's All Over b/w Bobby Jean in 1956.

Andre recruited a different outfit, imaginatively called 'His New Group,' for his first national hit as a vocalist: tenors Geno Purifoy (aka Parks) and Stave Gaston, baritone Bobby Calhoun, and bass Jay Johnson. Williams dreamed up one of the most laidback rock and roll dance songs ever, Bacon Fat"We had been going back and forth to this particular club, the Flamingo, in Memphis," he says. "There was two-lane highways then. And you could see these cotton pickers all on the side of the road. We would stop and kid around with them, then go up to their house and drink lemonade and eat. And I just came up with the song about cotton pickers. And I was eatin' a bacon sandwich. I just tapped it out, and I was coming up with the words, and I had the bacon in my hand, and folks with sacks on their backs."

Paired with an eerie Just Because Of A Kiss, Fortune issued Bacon Fat in November of '56 and it started to take off locally. Epic Records, a subsidiary of Columbia, released it nationally the following month on the recommendation of Detroit deejay Bristol Bryant, resulting in a #9 entry on 'Billboard's' R&B 'Best Seller' lists in early '57. Andre stayed at Fortune with the fabulously bizarre Jail Bait and The Greasy Chicken.

He got in the ground floor at Motown only to fall out with Berry Gordy (several times), returned to Chicago and produced hits for The Five Du-Tones and Alvin Cash, worked A&R for Mercury's Blue Rock logo (where he produced Sir Mack Rice's original Mustang Sally), and cut another hit of his own for Chess in '68, the streetwise Cadillac Jack. Andre subsequently battled drug abuse and homelessness, triumphantly reemerging as sartorially splendiferous and lascivious as ever.

- Bill Dahl -

Andre Williams died of colon cancer on March 17, 2019 at the age of 82 years.


Various Vol.8, - Street Corner Symphonies 1956

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Bait And Switch (LP)
Andre Williams: Bait And Switch (LP) Art-Nr.: LPED288

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(Norton Records) 15 Tracks - Legendary album of the great Andre Williams for Norton in New York 2001! With Rudy Ray Moore, Ronnie Spector, Lonnie Youngblood, The Mighty Hannibal, The Four Dollars, The Modern Don Juans and others!
Don't Touch! (7inch, EP, 45rpm, PS)
Andre Williams: Don't Touch! (7inch, EP, 45rpm, PS) Art-Nr.: 45KMEP105

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(Koko Mojo) 4-Track EP - With picture sleeve, 45rpm, wide center hole - Zephire "Andre" Williams was born in Bessmer, Alabama on November 1, 1936. He lost his mother when he was 6 and learned how to take care of himself at a very early...
Rib Tips & Pig Snoots (CD)
Andre Williams: Rib Tips & Pig Snoots (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSTS6345

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(1965-71'Avin/Sport/Wingate(56:50/19) Herrlich schräger Soul und funky R&B / A great dose of funky, bluesy soul. Includes many previously unavailable cuts and alternate takes.
I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City (LP)
Andre Williams: I Wanna Go Back To Detroit City (LP) Art-Nr.: LPBS234

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(2016/Bloodshot) 9 tracks - the newest album from 'Mr. Jail Bait' Andre Williams, who started recording in the mid 1950s.
Andre Williams: Nightclub Art-Nr.: LPLS033

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(2014/Lonestar) 5 tracks - 45RPM
Andre Williams: Life Art-Nr.: CDALIVE0135

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(2012 'Alive') (43:56/10)
Andre Williams: Life Art-Nr.: LPALIVE0135

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(2012) (Alive)
Bacon Fat  - The Fortune Singles 1956-57
Andre Williams: Bacon Fat - The Fortune Singles 1956-57 Art-Nr.: RUM2011034

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(2012/RUMBLE) 12 tracks
Night & Day (2012) 180g incl. album download
Andre Williams: Night & Day (2012) 180g incl. album download Art-Nr.: LPYEP2269

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LP on YEP ROK RECORDS by Andre Williams - Night & Day (2012) 180g incl. album download
Night & Day
Andre Williams: Night & Day Art-Nr.: CDYEP2269

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$11.81 $19.89
Mr. Rhythm Is Movin' (Fortune 1955-60)
Andre Williams: Mr. Rhythm Is Movin' (Fortune 1955-60) Art-Nr.: CD263394

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(2011/HOODOO) 27 tracks (79:31)
$11.81 $18.94
Hoods & Shades (2012)
Andre Williams: Hoods & Shades (2012) Art-Nr.: LPBS185

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LP on BLOODSHOT RECORDS by Andre Williams - Hoods & Shades (2012)
Hoods & Shades
Andre Williams: Hoods & Shades Art-Nr.: CDBS185

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Psychedelic grooves and rough and mumbling vocals, a perfect combination. A cool late work. Great sound. - Digipak. ANDRE WILLIAMS - voc, DENNIS COFFEY -. Gtrs, MATTHEW SMITH - gtrs, OHIL CARLISLE - bass, JIM WHITE - drums. Special...
That's All I Need
Andre Williams: That's All I Need Art-Nr.: LPBS171

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That's All I Need
Andre Williams: That's All I Need Art-Nr.: CDBS171

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R&B, soul, rock and blues from one the real Greats, Andr Supported by his excellent band, he's supplying us with another great set of recordings. Andr shape. Excellent! - Digipak. ANDRé WILLIAMS - voc, MATTHEW SMITH - gtrs, DENNIS COFFEY...
Rhythm & Blues
Andre Williams: Rhythm & Blues Art-Nr.: CDBR1027

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Blues and r&b, recorded with a tight band featuring two drummers. Originals and classics. ANDRE WILLIAMS voc, SILVERTONE STEVE gtrs, ZAC PIKE gtr, KENNY KRUMBHOLZ bass, TED HARVEY drums, TOM HAMBRIDGE drums.
Can You Deal With It?
Andre Williams: Can You Deal With It? Art-Nr.: CDBS155

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This still represents an exciting collaboration: Andre Williams mature voice, and the the punk-infeceted guitar-empowered sounds of the New Orleans Hellhounds. Great. Digipak. ANDRé WILLIAMS voc, RYAN SCULLY gtr, BAILEY SMITH gtr,...
Holland Shuffle
Andre Williams: Holland Shuffle Art-Nr.: CDCED299

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(2001 'Norton') (48:00/11) Das Enfant Terrible des schwarzen amerikanischen Rock'n' Roll, live In Groningen begleitet von den holländischen Green Hornet. Gutes Album / Andr Netherlands, backed by the Green Hornet, a local band. A cheap...
$11.81 $18.88
Fat Back & Corn Liquor (CD)
Andre Williams: Fat Back & Corn Liquor (CD) Art-Nr.: CDSTG7705

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(1995 'St. George Records') In den 50ern machte er einige fantastische Aufnahmen für 'Fortune' - mittlerweile gesuchte Sammlerstücke. Dieses Album, eingespielt mit eigener Band und den Eldorados, ist das exzellente Comeback eines...