Sollie Paul Williams aka Tex Williams
Sollie Paul Williams (August 23, 1917–October 11, 1985), known professionally as Tex Williams, was an American Western Swing musician from Ramsey, Illinois. He is best known for his talking blues style with his biggest hit being the novelty song, “Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)”, which held the number one position on the Billboard charts for six weeks in 1947. “Smoke” was the No. 5 song on Billboard’s Top 100 list for 1947, and was No. 1 on the country chart that year. It can be heard during the opening scenes of the 2006 movie, Thank You for Smoking. Williams’ backing band, the Western Caravan, numbered about a dozen or so members. They attained an enviable level of fluid interplay between electric and steel guitars, fiddles, bass, accordion, trumpet, and other instruments (even an occasional harp). At first they recorded polkas for Capitol Records with limited success. That was changed by the success of “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke” written in large part by Merle Travis. In April 1956 Williams appeared on the Chrysler sponsored CBS TV broadcast “Shower of Stars”.
One of our Tex favorites was released in 1948 – “Don’t Telephone – Don’t Telegraph (Tell a Woman)”. Played here on an old portable Carryola wind up record player from the mid 1920’s (old technology, built to last), the record is a 10 inch 78 rpm. The B side of record has Blue As A Heart Ache – vintage 1948 See Our Great Selection of Retro and Vintage Sound Items that include Record Players, Tube Radios, and Records