Williams Family performance for the Florida Record Project

Date: March 16, 1980

Source: S1576 , Container 17 , T83-65, T83-66, T83-67, T83-68, T83-69, T81-19

Type: Sound

Full Recording:

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Music Tracks

Description

Six reel-to-reel audio tapes. This recording documents fieldwork conducted by DeVane and B. McCallum in conjunction with the Florida Record Project. R. McCallum serves as recordist. R. Williams (guitar, vocals) informally performs folk blues and gospel songs with his daughter, Wilson (vocals) and his wife, L. Williams (vocals). Oftentimes, one song leads directly into another. Family members talk in the background during portions of the performance.
On T83-65, Williams discusses his guitar and where he got it before playing "Old Forty," a regional tune about Engine 40, a passenger train on the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad that ran through Polk and Alachua counties. He performs "Polk County Blues," a localized blues song. A fragment of "Old Forty" occurs again before the tape cuts off and restarts with "Glory, Glory," in which Wilson sings the lead vocals accompanied by L. Williams. They also perform the gospel songs "I'm Working on a Building," "You've Got to Stand Your Trial in Judgment," and "Until I Found the Lord."
On T83-66, the family continues with more gospel songs, including two versions of "I Know It Was the Blood," which had to be restarted. Williams plays a fragment of "Do Lord, Remember Me" before playing "What You Gonna Do When This World's on Fire?" with the rest of the family. Williams plays a regional variant of "Carless Love" called "Don't You Never Let One Woman Grieve Your Mind" unaccompanied, which segues directly into "Baby, Please Don't Go," with a fragment of "Trouble in Mind" tagged to the end. Wilson and L. Williams resume accompaniment on "You've Got to Move" and "We'll Understand It Better By and By." The family performs another version of "I Know It Was the Blood" before attempting "He's a Battle Axe," which results in an incomplete version.
On T83-67, the Williams family plays two more versions of "He's a Battle Axe," the second of which features L. Williams on piano. She plays an quiet version of "I'll Rise to Tell You What the Lord Done for Me" while the microphones are being readjusted. The family plays another version of "He's a Battle Axe" with piano after a couple of false starts in which the sound is being adjusted. The family performs a fragment of "I'll Rise to Tell You What the Lord Done for Me," "I'll Fly Away," and "Lord Remember Me" featuring L. Williams on the piano. R. Williams and Wilson perform "Travel the Whole World Around." Dennis, a cousin of Williams, tunes his guitar.
On T83-68, Dennis (guitar, vocals) performs four songs solo. Williams can be heard in the background. One of the fieldworkers plays a two guitar instrumentals. The tape cuts out and resumes with Johnson (guitar, vocals), Williams's step-son, playing "Come Back, Mama" with Williams singing backup vocals. Johnson performs "Working All the Summer" and "A Nickel's a Nickel," on which Wilson accompanies on vocals. One of the fieldworkers performs another instrumental. Johnson plays "Key to the Highway," before Williams and Wilson perform a version of "Tain't but the One Thing That Grieves My Mind," a localized version of the standard "Careless Love."
On T83-69, Dennis performs four more songs. DeVane interviews Dennis and asks Johnson a few questions. Johnson can be heard playing away from the microphone, performing fragments of "Key to the Highway" and other unidentified blues songs. He performs "I'm Leaving Here, Baby" and an unidentified blues while other members of the family get coffee in the other room. L. Williams plays "I'm Blessed and Brought Up by the Lord," "King Jesus Is Our Captain" and "Love Lifted Me" on piano, accompanied by Wilson on vocals.
On T81-19, Dennis plays guitar while Williams and Wilson sing "Polk County Blues." Williams then plays a version of the song with Wilson accompanying on vocals. They then play a version of "How Long, How Long Blues." Williams plays another version of "Polk County Blues" accompanied by Wilson, before performing a fragment of "Careless Love" and "Uncle Sam Is a Dangerous Man." The family performs two gospel songs before playing "Motherless Children" and "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" He attempts the music to "Jacksonville Fire."
Tracks 13, 15, 20, 25, 26, 27, 38, 52 and 57 are featured on Drop on Down in Florida, a 1981 compilation of African American traditional music collected by the Florida Folklife Program.

1980 Florida Folk Festival Program

View the 1980 Program

T80-54Friday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-55Friday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-56Friday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)
T80-57Saturday morning performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-58Saturday morning performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-59Saturday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-60Saturday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-61Saturday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)
T80-62Saturday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 4)
T80-63Saturday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 5)
T80-63Saturday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-64Saturday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-65Saturday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)
T80-66Saturday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 4)
T80-67Saturday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 5)
T80-68Sunday morning performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-69Sunday morning performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-70Sunday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-71Sunday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-72Sunday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)
T80-73Sunday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-74Sunday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-75Sunday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)
T80-76Sunday evening performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 4)
T80-77Monday morning performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-79Monday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 1)
T80-80Monday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 2)
T80-81Monday afternoon performances at the 1980 Florida Folk Festival (Main Stage) (Reel 3)

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