Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Honor the Great Mary Lou Williams

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Let's Honor the Great Mary Lou Williams

Article excerpt

There has been much discussion about a replacement for the Stephen Foster statue in Oakland, and there is public sentiment for an African-American woman from Pittsburgh's history to honor this site along Forbes Avenue.

We would suggest a memorial to Mary Lou Williams: a supreme jazz pianist, arranger and composer starting in the late 1920s.

Though born in Atlanta, Mary Lou grew up in East Liberty and began performing at the age of 7 in Pittsburgh. In 1929, she joined Andy Kirk's 12 Clouds of Joy Orchestra and was without question the spark for the band's success across the country, though she received little credit from the general public at the time (fellow musicians, however, were well aware of her tremendous influence). She stayed with Andy Kirk through 1942, but in the meantime she supplied Benny Goodman with swing composition staples like "Roll 'Em" and "Camel Hop" and also recorded under her own name on the Decca label. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.