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Curley Williams & His Georgia Peach Pickers

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Biography

Curley Williams (Dock Williams, June 3, 1914 - September 5, 1970) was an American country and western fiddler, singer, songwriter and bandleader from Georgia . His best-known song is “Half As Much”. He was admitted to the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Williams was born near Cairo, Georgia and was raised on the family farm in Grady County, Georgia. His father and grandfather were fiddle players, which was the instrument Williams himself took up. Williams was given the name “Dock” because he was a seventh son and a tradition held that seventh sons became doctors.

Williams debuted with a band named The Santa Fe Trail Riders on WPAX in Thomasville, Georgia around 1940. In December 1942 the band was invited to join the cast of the Grand Ole Opry. Because Andrew Smik was already well-known performing as “Doc Williams” with his band The Border Riders, George D. Hay suggested that Williams change his first-name from Dock to Curley, for his curly hair. Hay also suggested that the band become the Georgia Peach Pickers as most of its members were from Georgia (including Williams’ brothers Joseph and Sanford on rhythm guitar, and on bass and comedy respectively).
The Georgia Peach Pickers agreed a recording contract with Columbia Records in 1943 and remained associated with Columbia into the 1950s. Some of their best known songs, such as “Jealous Lady”, “Georgia Steel Guitar”, and “Southern Belle (from Nashville Tennessee)”, and they also provided backing for other Columbia artists such as Zeke Clements and Johnny Bond. During a tour of California they appeared in the 1947 film “Riders of the Lone Star” starring Charles Starrett.

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