While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »

WILLIAMS, RICHARD GENE [NOTES]

Bradley Shreve

Listen to this artist

WILLIAMS, RICHARD GENE [NOTES] (1931–1985). Richard Gene Williams, trumpet player, known as "Notes" Williams, was born in Galveston on May 4, 1931. Williams started playing the tenor saxophone at an early age but switched to the trumpet during his teenage years. He played in the Galveston area before enrolling in the music program at Wiley College, Marshall, Texas. After completing his degree in 1951, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served diligently over the next few years.

In 1956, upon being discharged, he joined with Lionel Hampton and toured Europe with Hampton's band. After spending three years on the road, Williams settled in New York City and received a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music (1961). He also became a regular player with Charles Mingus's Jazz Workshop.

Williams devoted himself to playing full-time in New York, where he rose to prominence. In 1960 he recorded his only solo album, New Horn In Town. Through the 1960s and 1970s he played with Max Roach, Quincy Jones, Duke Ellington, and fellow Texan Booker Ervin. He toured Europe and Japan and recorded with Thad Jones and Mel Lewis in the late 1960s. In the early 1970s he was in Europe, where he occasionally led his own quartet. Williams also performed on the original Broadway recordings of the musicals The Me Nobody Knows and The Wiz. He recorded as a sideman several times in the later 1970s and was a member the Mingus Dynasty (1982) and coleader of a quintet with Harold Vick (1980). Williams also played on Broadway and for the Orchestra U.S.A. He died of cancer on November 5, 1985, in Jamaica, New York.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Barry Kernfeld, ed., The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (London: Macmillan, 1988). Dave Oliphant, Texan Jazz (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996). Variety, December 4, 1985.

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Bradley Shreve, "WILLIAMS, RICHARD GENE [NOTES]," accessed July 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwibp.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on October 22, 2015. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...