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The Legends of the Rocking Dutchman - episode 43

J. Mayo 'Ink' Williams

Today I explore the roots of Rhythm & Blues by spotlighting the most influential record producer of African American music in the pre-war era: Jay Mayo 'Ink' Williams. He earned his nickname for his knack to make every black artist sign for him. This way he brought many of the most important pre-war blues singers to the recording microphophone, such as Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Tampa Red, Trixie Smith, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, 'Sleepy' John Estes and maybe most important of all, the Harlem Hamfats and Louis Jordan.

In this show I will get you a full biography of Williams, who, next to being a great football player, first of all was an educated, talented and smart businessman and a very smooth talker and he had a good ear for the blues, and he probably didn't bring these artists to the studio from an idealistic viewpoint to promote African American music.

The playlist features artists that he signed while he worked for Decca, from 1934 until the end of the war.



  1. Alberta Hunter - Someday Sweetheart
  2. Bumble Bee Slim - Ease Me Down
  3. Georgia White - If You Can't Get Five Take Two
  4. Georgia White - Honey Dripper Blues
  5. Peetie Wheatstraw - Good Home Blues
  6. Bill Gaither - Old Coals Will Kindle
  7. Sleepy John Estes & Hammie Nixon - Drop Down Mama
  8. Sleepy John Estes - Fire Department Blues
  9. Bill Gaither - New Pains In My Heart
  10. Blind Boy Fuller - If You See My Pigmeat
  11. Sister Rosetta Tharpe - My Man And I
  12. Trixie Smith - Trixie Blues
  13. Alberta Hunter - Yelping Blues
  14. Harlem Hamfats - You Can't Win In Here
  15. Louis Jordan - Mop Mop
  16. Rosetta Howard & the Harlem Hamfats - Stay Away From My Door

  • Wild Bill Moore Sextette - Bongo Bounce
The following music served as background music during the spoken parts:
  • Eddie Chamblee - Lazy Mood
  • Julian Dash - Creamin' Boogie
  • Lynn Hope - Tenderly
  • Plas Johnson - Downstairs