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Detroit Junior


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Emery “Detroit Junior” Williams, Jr. (October 26, 1931 – August 9, 2005) was an American, Chicago blues pianist, singer, and songwriter. He is known for songs such as “So Unhappy”, “Call My Job”, “If I Hadn’t Been High”, “Ella” and “Money Tree”. His songs have been covered by a.o. Koko Taylor and Albert King.

Born in Haynes, Arkansas, Detroit recorded his first single, “Money Tree” with the Bea & Baby Records label in 1960. His first full album, Chicago Urban Blues, was released in the early 1970s on the Blues on Blues label. He also has recordings on Alligator, Blue Suit, The Sirens Records, and Delmark.

Detroit Junior began his career in Detroit, Michigan, backing touring musicians such as Eddie Boyd, John Lee Hooker, and Amos Milburn. Boyd brought him to Chicago, Illinois in 1956, where he spent the next twelve years. In the early 1970s, Detroit Junior toured and recorded with Howlin’ Wolf. After the death of Wolf in 1976, Detroit returned to Chicago, where he lived and performed until his death from heart failure in 2005.

He was survived by his wife Ella, and brothers Keith and Kenneth H. Williams.


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