Jimmie Lee Williams (1925-1999) lived way out in the country. He had recorded for George Mitchell years ago. Denise and I visited him once and spent a wonderful day together. We kept in close touch and sent him a guitar and he would always send us tapes of new songs he had written. He was over 70 when we met him and he had just loaded a huge truck with pine trees to sell to the paper mill. He had cut down, trimmed and loaded the truck all by himself. It was an impressive job. He had worked hard his whole life. -Tim Duffy
How We Helped:
Jimmie Lee Williams, part of the Music Maker Relief Foundation since 1995, has received sustenance grants from the organization, and is featured in the book Music Makers: Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America (2004).
Jimmie Lee Williams told George Mitchell back in 1977:
“I was born in 1925, the 28th day of July in Worth County, Georgia. Lived here all my life. Been farming all my life. People used to be a lot more healthy when they was plowing with mules than now with tractors. You just sitting there on that tractor all day and if you know how to drive one you just sit up there and go to sleep. But with that mule you got to be stepping behind him and I always had a fast mule and I had to go to stay up with him. I plowed with mules ever since I was seven years old. I loved it.
I first started playing electric guitar in 1957. Before that I was playing a regular guitar, but they was good guitars. Boy, I played; we had to run people away from the house. When you had a party they stayed up till the break of day. They stayed as long as that guitar stayed there, they wouldn’t go. Oh boy, we had a time. Nobody playing but me and my baby brother. I wish he was here now. Boy, I wish we could play together again.”