Paul Williams (bluegrass musician)

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"Big" Paul Williams (Paul Humphrey) is an American bluegrass and gospel musician. He took the surname Williams when he began his musical career in the early 1950s.[1] He was guitarist and lead singer for the Lonesome Pine Fiddlers before replacing Earl Taylor in the Sunny Mountain Boys in 1957, playing mandolin and being featured regularly as a lead singer.[1]

He played with Jimmy Martin at the height of the Sunny Mountain Boys career, recording steadily through 1962 and at times competing for popularity with Elvis Presley.[2] Williams is said to have helped shape Martin's sound.[1] He was present in the recording process for what Martin has said were the "biggest selling records I've ever done." Williams co-wrote the perennially popular hit "Hold Watcha Got."[3]

Williams departed from Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys in 1962. He married Jimmy Martin's half sister who told him that "he couldn't play bluegrass music and live for the Lord." He went on to play gospel music with the Northside Trio and later on achieved some success and a Grammy nomination with the Victory Trio, based out of his hometown, Morristown, Tennessee.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Goldsmith, Thomas. The Bluegrass Reader. 2004. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-07365-7.
  2. ^ a b Willis, Barry R.,xz America's Music: Bluegrass. 1997. Pine Valley Music, ISBN 0-9652407-0-3.
  3. ^ Piazza, Tom. True Adventures With the King of Bluegrass. 1999. Vanderbilt University Press & Country Music Foundation Press, ISBN 0-8265-1680-7.


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