[Born in Oktibbeha County, a few miles west of Crawford, Mississippi, Williams as a youth began wandering across the United States busking and playing in stores, bars, alleys and work camps. In the early 1920s he worked in the Rabbit Foot Minstrels revue. He recorded with the Birmingham Jug Band in 1930 for Okeh Records.
In 1934, he was in St. Louis, Missouri, where he met the record producer Lester Melrose, who signed him to Bluebird Records in 1935. He stayed with Bluebird for ten years, recording such blues hits as "Baby, Please Don't Go" (1935) and "Crawlin' King Snake" (1941), both of which were later covered by many other musicians. He also recorded with other blues singers, including Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Nighthawk and Peetie Wheatstraw.
During the early Thirties, Williams was accompanied on his travels through the Mississippi Delta by a young Muddy Waters. Williams recounted to Blewett Thomas, "I picked Muddy up in Rolling Fork when he was about 15. He went all 'round the Delta playin' harmonica behind me. But I had to put him down after awhile. All these women were comin' up to me and sayin', 'Oh. your young son is so nice!' See, I had to put Muddy down because he was takin' away my women."]
Not sure where to find the personnel for his later recordings.
Sonny Boy (John Lee) Williamson is on harmonica.