Gary Williams, born 1938, from the Pacific Northwest of the USA, has written over 600(!) songs in a career that spanned a mere 40 years.
• • Bear Family Records® re-releases 34 of his greatest recordings – rockabilly, country and folk – from 1957 to ’66, released on Verve, Panorama, Manito, Connie Sue and Empire, among others.
• • Throughout his life, Gary Williams was overshadowed by the great stars of his time – based on the quality of his songs and his great performance, he should have been one of them!
• • A jam-packed CD album with carefully restored and re-mastered recordings.
• • Country and Rock and Roll musician Deke Dickerson was able to interview Gary Williams shortly before his death and wrote the elaborately researched liner notes for the illustrated booklet.
Gary Williams was born in 1938 in Spokane, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the
States. As a child he became fascinated by the music of the ‘Blue Yodeler’, Jimmie Rodgers.
At age sixteen – by now playing guitar well and appearing live on local station KXOI television shows –
Williams decided to attend the second edition of the ‘Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Celebration’ in
Meridian, Mississippi. After an exciting road trip – which ultimately earned him the nickname ‘Travelin’
Blues Boy’ – he gets a chance to perform as part of the festival, as does a yet unknown guy named
Back in Spokane, he continued to perform on the radio and in the summer of 1955 was signed by the
Town Hall Party, the most popular country music television show on the West Coast. A year later, he
appeared several times on an ABC television show in Nashville, was invited by the Louisiana Hayride
and the Ozark Mountain Jubilee, and eventually sang a few R’n’R songs as part of the Ranch Party
Finally, in 1957, he made his first recordings for Verve Records. His single Travelin’ Blues Boy b/w I’m
Gonna Return features Barney Kessel, Merle Travis and Wesley Tuttle on guitars. That same year,
Verve released the successful LP album ‘Teen Time’ featuring Ricky Nelson, Jeff Allen and Gary
Williams, among others, which gave his career another boost.
From 1957 to the summer of 1960, Williams was constantly on tour. He eventually took a job at
Spokane’s radio station KPEG as a disc jockey and produced the album ‘Gary Williams’ for the local
Manito label. In the years that followed, Williams released numerous records and toured extensively
in the Northwest with his band, the Travelin’ Blues Boys.
Over the course of his career, Williams probably wrote more than 600 songs, with releases on at least
14 record labels. His songs were covered by Webb Pierce, Freddy Hart and Bobby Wayne, a.o.
In the late sixties Williams left secular music and from now on recorded a variety of albums with
Christian subjects and gospel music.
For this CD compilation, producer Nico Feuerbach has selected 34 of his best recordings from 1957
to 1966, originally released on Verve, Panorama, Ed Mosley’s Manito label out of Spokane, WA,
Connie Sue, and Gary’s own Empire label. From the 1960 LP ‘Gary Williams’ produced for Manito
come seven outstanding tracks, including the rockabilly smash Walla Walla State Prison.
Bear Family’s CD retrospective ‘The Travelin’ Blues Boy’ is the first to reflect Gary Williams’ ‘secular’
career of merely ten or so years, a highly creative period during which he wrote and recorded firstclass
rockabilly and country numbers, as well as folk songs. We have put a lot of effort into restoring
the historic recordings and making them sound at their best.
A long overdue tribute to a first class yet underrated musician!
Travelin’ Blues Boy-1 Manhunt Heart Break Special Lucky In Love The Great Northwest My Reflection My Restless Rollin’ Mind Alaska Death Row Step Into My Heart Ever So Often Rule Number One One Little Man In This Prison Cell Fields Of Rolling Green Big City Blues Living In Memory No More Dueling Green Walla Walla State Prison Never Ever Again Hawaii You Just Never Know County Jail Blues Wanderin’ Star Something’s Troubling Me Buckskin Twenty Years Ago Public Enemy Number One Branded An Outlaw Such A Good Good Girl You And Your True Love I’m Gonna Return Travelin’ Blues Boy- 2 You’ll Never See Me Again