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Andre Williams


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Andre Williams (born Zephire Andre Williams in Bessemer, Alabama, on November 1, 1936) is an American R&B and punk blues musician who started his career in the 1950s at Fortune Records in Detroit. Some sources believe that Williams is the long-lost brother of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, a blues musician whose song “I Put A Spell On You” landed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll charts.

He lived in a housing project with his mother until she died when he was only six years of age. Even though he was sly and was strangely smart as a young boy, his “aunties” raised Mr. Williams until he was around 16. At sixteen, Andre Williams set out on his own and moved to Detroit, Michigan. There, he became friends with Jack and Devora Brown, owners of Fortune Records which was located at the back of a barber shop.

He then became lead singer for the 5 Dollars in 1955, which already had a contract with Fortune Records. Though most of the songs were billed as Andre Williams and the Don Juan’s, “Bacon Fat” and “Jail Bait” were solo efforts. “Bacon Fat” hit #9 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 1957. “Bacon Fat” was such a success that Fortune Records sold the song to Epic Records, a much larger distributor! Since “Bacon Fat’’ and “Jail Bait” were such successes, Williams figured that “talking instead of singing” was a better idea for him, for he didn’t have as good a voice as some other singers from the 1950’s.


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