Robert “Pete” Williams Famous American Louisiana blues Musician

Blues guitarist Robert “Pete” Williams (March 14, 1914 – December 31, 1980) was born to a family of sharecroppers in Zachary, Louisiana. At the age of 20, he bought a cheap guitar and began to play for small events such as dances and church gatherings. In 1956, Williams shot a man dead in a local club and was sent to Angola Prison to serve a life sentence. While in prison, he was discovered by ethnomusicologists Dr. Harry Oster and Richard Allen, who recorded Williams performing several of his songs about life in prison and pleaded for him to be pardoned and helped shorten his sentence to 12 years. By 1965, this blues guitarist was able to tour the United States and Europe performing at blues and folk festivals.


Top 5 Songs

Pardon Denied Again
Prisoner’s Talking Blues
Scrap Iron Blues
Old Girl At My Door
Grown So Ugly

Top 3 Albums

Robert Pete Williams
Louisiana Blues
Angola Prisoner’s Blues


Angola Prisoner’s Blues (Arhoolie 2001)
Those Prison Blues (Arhoolie 2015)
101 Sugar Farm Blues (Beacon 1932)
Robert Pete Williams and Snooks Eaglin (Fantasy 24715)
Free Again (Prestige 7808)
When I Lay My Burden Down (Southland 4)
Louisiana Blues (Takoma b-1011)
Legacy of the Blues Vol. 9 (Sonet 649)
Robert Pete Williams (Ahura Mazda 2002)

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