Johnny Williams

Jazz Drummer
Born 1905

Johnny Williams was an American jazz drummer and percussionist from the early 1930s to the late 1950s. In New York and Hollywood he worked on radio, in films, and as a recording artist. He is the father of Hollywood film score composer John Williams, and the grandfather of singer Joseph Williams.… Read More

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1905 Birth Born on November 15, 1905.


1936 30 Years Old Williams played drums in the New York-based CBS Radio orchestra in the early 1930s, and achieved stardom as drummer for the Raymond Scott Quintette from 1936 to 1939. … Read More
1937 31 Years Old The Quintette recorded for the Master, Brunswick, and Columbia labels. When Scott went to Hollywood in late 1937 to work in motion pictures, Williams accompanied the bandleader and appeared on camera with the Quintette in the films Happy Landing (starring Sonja Henie, Ethel Merman, and Don Ameche), Sally, Irene and Mary (starring Alice Faye, Tony Martin, and Fred Allen), and Ali Baba Goes to Town (starring Eddie Cantor). … Read More
1938 32 Years Old Scott and his band returned to New York in 1938, allegedly due to the leader's disgust at Hollywood culture ("They think everything is 'wonderful'," he told an interviewer).
1939 33 Years Old After dissolving his Quintette in 1939, Scott formed a swing-fashioned big band. … Read More


1948 42 Years Old When Your Hit Parade moved to California in 1948, Williams relocated to the west coast. … Read More
1953 47 Years Old In the 1953 film Let's Do It Again, he "ghost-drummed" for actor Ray Milland. … Read More


1985 80 Years Old Died on October 19, 1985.
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