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Curley Williams
and Georgia Peach Pickers
KWKH Louisiana Hayride
WSM Grand Ole Opry
WALB Albany, GA
WMC Memphis, TN
WMGA Moultrie, GA
WPAX Thomasville, GA
WSM Nashville, TN (1942)

Originally, Curley's group was known as the Santa Fe Trail Riders. Later on, when the Opry came calling, they had to change their name. Curley at the time was using his real name, Dock. However, there was a fellow named Doc Williams (Andrew Smik) and His Border Riders using that name on the famed WWVA Wheeling Jamboree. So, George D. Hay, the Solemn Old Judge, named him Curley for his curly hair and the band got the name Georgia Peach Pickers since most of them were from Georgia.

Wayne M. Daniel writes that Curley Williams and the Georgia Peach Pickers and their music would be remembered by fans of old time hillbilly/country music as Colin Escott notes, for their "light, jazzy, sophisticated western dance music." He cites Mountain Broadcast and Prairie Recorder, for calling the Georgia Peach Pickers "one of the best hillbilly swing bands".

While the band was on the west coast, they appeared in a Columbia movie entitled "Riders Of the Lone Star", a Durango Kid series western that starred Charles Starrett. The movie also included such stars as Smiley Burnette, Virginia Hunter, Steve Darrell, Edmund Cobb, Mark Dennis, George Chesebro, Lane Bradford, Ted Mapes, Peter Perkins, Eddie Parker, Nolan Leary and Bud Osborne notes Mr. Daniel. In the movie, Curley and the band get to play and sing "Oh Monah" and "Let Me By". They even accompany Smiley Burnett on a couple of tunes and played a dance tune at a birthday party.

Later on, Curley and the band recorded a series of short takes of individual songs with an old friend of his from the Grand Ole Opry days, Tommy Scott. These short films were made at the Strickland Film Company in Atlanta, Georgia. The band did such tunes as "Barbecue Rag", "No, Not Now", "Southern Belle (from Nashville Tennessee)". These songs were apparently released as videos later by Cattle Records.

Timeline and Trivia Notes

Group members-1942

  • Curley Williams, vocals and fiddle
  • Joseph Williams, rhythm guitar
  • Sanford Williams, bass and comedy
  • Clyde "Boots" Harris, steel guitar
  • Joe Pope, piano
  • Jimmy Selph, vocals and guitar

New Group Members later, on west coast (Jimmy Selph had stayed behind in Nashville):

  • Jack Charmella, guitarist, fomerly of Opry, 1945
  • Farris Coursay, drummer, formerly of Opry, 1945

New Group members later, in Shreveport, Louisiana

  • Lee Purvis, piano
  • Danny Johnson, electric guitar
  • Little Georgianne (Curley's 12 year old daughter, real name Morelle)

Group members in Memphis, Tennessee

  • Curley Williams
  • Boots Harris
  • Billy Simmons, piano
  • Millard "Smokey" Paul, guitar
  • Jack Ford, rhythm guitar and vocals
  • Jimmy Summey, bass player and comedian

Group members, Anniston, Alabama

  • Curley Williams
  • Boots Harris
  • Jack Ford
  • Wimpey Jones, piano
  • Jack Pruett, guitarist (who later worked with Marty Robbins and married Norma Jean Bowman who later was known as Jeanne Pruett of "Satin Sheets" fame)

Credits & Sources

  • Notes and group personnel changes from an article entitled "Curley Williams: Country Fiddler, Western Swing Bandleader, Composer of Pop Music Hit" written by Wayne M. Daniel, as published in "The Devil's Box", a quarterly publication of the North American Fiddlers Association, PO Box 1096, Columbia, MO 65205. We thank the author for providing us with the article.

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Recordings
 
Columbia
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  20005 A Jealous Lady
  20005 B Southern Belle
  20076 B Georgia Steel Guitar
  20381 A One Sided Affair
  20381 B Woe Is Me
  20411 A Just A-Pickin' And A-Singin'
  20411 B Georgia Polka
  20443 A Blue Melody
  20443 B Georgia Boogie
  20486 A Leave Me Alone With The Blues
  20486 B Georgia Anne From Georgia
  20515 A If I Knew Then What I Know Now
  20515 B I See A Change In You
  20575 A Georgianna Moon
  20575 B You Can't Brush Me Off
  20633 A No Not Now
  20633 B Barbeque Rag
  20725 A Mississippi
  20725 B Saturday Night Rag
  20748 A Whole Hog Or None
  20748 B Honey Do You Love Me
  20757 A Fiddling Boogie
  20757 B Shy Baby
  20797 A Good Old Alabam'
  20797 B Between A Rock And A Hard Place
  20849 A String Steeling
  20849 B All You Gotta Do Is Whistle
  20879 A Louisiana Serenade
  20879 B Half As Much
  20918 A We've Come A Long Way Together
  20918 B Texas Swing
  21039 B Time And A Half Time
  21096 A What's The Matter With My Heart
  36872 B Jealous Lady
  37083 A Grandma's Turned Over Again
  37083 B Georgia Steel Guitar
  37950 A Woe Is Me
  37950 B One-Sided Affair
  38133 A Just A-Pickin' And A-Singin'
  38133 B Georgia Polka


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